The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday, said that the Old Port Harcourt Refinery would become functional by December this year.

The Minister disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Sylvia said the development of the compressed natural gas (CNG)is still in progress.

The Minister, who was responding to a question on the state of the ongoing repairs at the nation’s refineries, said one of the two refineries, the old one with 60,000 barrels-per-day capacity, would be functional by the end of 2022, just as works are also progressing on both the Warri and Kaduna refineries.

According to him, “The rehabilitation of the refineries is ongoing. As we said earlier, the old refinery in Port Harcourt, which is about 60,000 barrels per day capacity, will be functional by December and, of course, we still have some time in the contracting time to conclude the rest of the Port Harcourt Refineries.

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“Works in the Kaduna and Warri refineries are also in progressing very well. We will soon be embarking on an inspection visit and some of you journalists will be will be able to go with us to ascertain for yourselves what the extent of work is.”

On the country’s CNG development programme, the Minister said progress was being made, adding that it was one of the steps that must be achieved before the removal of petrol subsidy.

He said, “On the CNG development, it’s very much in progress. That is part of the promises we made, part of the things we want to put in place before the removal of subsidy. Subsidy has still not been removed because some of these conditions that were agreed upon have not been met and we’re definitely working assiduously to ensure that all the facilities are in place, the pumping stations and the conversion kits.

“I can assure you that work is going on very much in that regard. We may not be in a position to announce exactly what we are doing now or where we are, but I can assure you that work is very much ongoing.”

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