Dangote refinery starts production in Nigeria after years of delays

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The newly commissioned Dangote refinery Saturday commenced production of diesel and aviation fuel after receiving its fifth crude oil shipment of one million barrels of Bonny Light supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited last week.

Designed to process crude oil grades from the three continents of Africa, Asia and America, the 650,000 barrels-per-day oil processing facility becomes Africa’s largest refinery built at a cost of $20 billion by the continent’s richest man Aliko Dangote on a peninsula on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria.

Recall that Nigeria has for several years, relied on imports for most of the fuel it consumes despite its’ plaque as Africa’s top energy producer.

The Dangote refinery is expected to not only make it self-sufficient but also allow it to export fuel to neighbouring West African countries, potentially transforming oil trading in the Atlantic Basin.

It has an excess of petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation jets that may aid exportation and two SPMs, which are situated 25 km offshore and are designed to handle crude oil, while its three more SPMs are designed to release petroleum products. Furthermore, the refinery’s truck-loading gantries can load 2,900 trucks per day even as its’ complex is located on 2,635 hectares (6,500 acres) of land in the Lekki Free Zone on the outskirts of Lagos.

In a statement, the company via a post on X said, “this is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.”

The plant received 1 million barrels of Nigeria’s Agbami crude on Monday, taking the total volume received since December to 6 million barrels.

Nigeria’s state-owned NNPC Ltd. is expected to supply four crude cargoes to the refinery from its February programme.

It could take months after the start up of the refinery’s crude distillation unit to move from test runs to the production of high-quality fuels at full capacity, according to experts.

Dangote has said it will start by refining 350,000 bpd, hoping to ramp up to full production later this year.

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