The Dangote Refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refining and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It is expected to be the largest oil refinery in Africa, and the plant's largest single-train facility is scheduled for completion in 2022/2023. The refinery will process a variety of light and medium grades of crude oil to produce clean Euro V grade fuels, including gasoline. and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.
The refinery owned by Nigerian-based Dangote Group company is developing the project with an estimated investment of US$19 billion. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria has approved the acquisition of a 20% minority interest in the project by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for US$2.76 billion in August 2021. It is expected that the refinery and petrochemicals will be integrated. The project will create 9,500 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs.
Dangote Refinery Location, Site and Design Details
The refinery complex is being developed on a 2,635 ha site in the Lekki Free Zone near the Lekki Lagoon along the Atlantic Seaboard. The refinery's geographic location is ideal for facilitating the trans-shipment of refined petroleum products to international markets. Dangote built a jetty near the project site to accommodate heavy construction machinery. The oil refinery is designed to produce up to 50 million litres of gasoline and 15 million litres of diesel per day. It is also expected to produce 10.4 million tonnes (Mt) of gasoline, 4.6 million tonnes of diesel, and 4 million tonnes of jet fuel a year. It will also produce 0.69 million tonnes of polypropylene, 0.24Mt of propane, 32,000t of Sulphur, and 0.5Mt of carbon black feed a year.
As of last week, many News and media outlets reported that the refinery will commence operations on January 24, 2023. However, verified reports from Timilehin Oyedare of Dangote Group’s Digital Communications Unit, Corporate Communications, confirmed that the reports of commissioning which was shared were false. Regardless the refinery is 97% complete with the Nigerian midstream and downstream petroleum regulatory authority (NMDPRA), otherwise referred to as ‘The Authority’ also confirms this. Farouk Ahmed, Chief of NMDPRA, disclosed this development when representatives of the Dangote refinery visited him in his office recently in Abuja, FCT, to present the work plan of the facility for 2022/2023.
Significance of the Refinery for the Nigerian Economy and Its LPG Industry
With an estimated 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Nigeria is the second richest oil-rich country in Africa after Libya. However, Nigeria relies on imported refined fuel products due to a lack of domestic refining capacity. This refinery will double Nigeria's refining capacity and help meet the growing domestic demand for fuel while generating foreign exchange through exports. In terms of immediate benefits of the refining facility to the Nigerian energy consumers and LPG industry, the new refinery is expected to double the Nigerian refining capacity, and help in meeting the increasing demands for fuel and LPG, while providing cost and foreign exchange savings.
Photo Credit: MAN