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Marketers raise hope of Nigerians, says petrol price will reduce after Port Harcourt refinery begins operations



The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria have said there will be a marginal reduction in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol if Port Harcourt Refining Company begins operations next month.

IPMAN and MEMAN also declared their readiness to load products from the facility, as they urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to fulfill its promise of pumping put refined products from the plant in two weeks time.

Recall that the Group Managing Director, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations in about two weeks’ time during a Senate Ad-hoc Committee session focused on investigating the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) projects of Nigeria’s refineries.

He revealed that mechanical works had been completed on the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries, stressing that the Kaduna refinery would commence operations in December.

“We did a mechanical completion of the (Port Harcourt) refinery, that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery.

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“It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready. The Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

The National President of IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, in his reaction told Punch that marketers had been informed of the development and were ready to start lifting products.

He also stated that once products start coming out from the plant, the cost of petrol would reduce, but stressed that this would be a marginal reduction.

He said, “As independent petroleum marketers, immediately we received the information, we told all our members to start preparing for loading, especially those in the South-South region of the country, because it is closer to them.

“So at any time they (NNPCL) say we should come and start loading, we are ready. We are just waiting for them to start.”

He added, “Price reduction is obvious when they start releasing products, and there will be availability because it would serve as support to the imported products. So we are expecting a change in price, for no matter how small the reduction is, it is still a reduction.

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“Also, the commencement of operations there will create more employment for Nigerians. So it is a welcome development and IPMAN is happy about this, especially if products start coming out from the plant in the next two weeks as promised by NNPCL.”

The Executive Secretary of MEMAN, Clement Isong, on his part, stated that major oil marketers had been buying products from the trading arm of NNPCL, adding that this arm of the national oil firm would be in charge of the products to come out from the Port Harcourt refinery.

He noted that though the facility would not be able to provide all the volumes of petrol required by the consumers, MEMAN would definitely load from the plant by buying refined products through the trading arm of NNPCL.

He said, “Sure, we have been buying from the trading arm of NNPCL and we will continue once products from the refinery are being released. On price reduction, this is going to be marginal, because the product is being produced in Nigeria.”

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