Global reactions have trailed news that Nigeria’s colossal Dangote Petroleum Refinery has taken delivery of its first one million barrels of crude, with the petrochemicals plant soon to become fully operational as early as January.
The Aliko Dangote-owned company confirmed the purchase of the crude on Friday, in a statement issued by the Group Head, Branding and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Tony Chiejina.
It also revealed that the next four out of the six cargoes programmed for supply to the facility will be supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) in the next two to three weeks.
The company also said the final shipment would come from ExxonMobil, reiterating that the refinery has the capacity to load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck loading gantries.
Both Africa’s richest man and chief promoter of the $20 billion refinery Aliko Dangote, and the Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, expressed delight at the major milestone recorded towards boosting Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity and attaining energy security and self-sufficiency, as well as increasing the African continent’s supply, with many of its 54 countries still major importers of refined petroleum products.
According to the statement, the STASCO cargo contained one million barrels from Agbami and sailed to Dangote Refinery’s Single Point Mooring (SPM) where it was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks.
The company said the maiden one million barrels, which represented the first phase of the six million barrels of crude oil to be supplied to Dangote Petroleum Refinery by a range of suppliers, should sustain the initial 350,000 barrels per day to be processed by the facility.
“The next four cargoes will be supplied by the NNPC in two to three weeks and the final of the six cargoes will be supplied by ExxonMobil”, the statement noted.
It added that the supply would facilitate the initial run of the refinery as well as kick-start the production of diesel, aviation fuel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) before subsequently progressing to the production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol.
This latest development would play a pivotal role in alleviating the fuel supply challenges faced by Nigeria as well as the West African sub-region.
Designed for 100 per cent Nigerian crude with the flexibility to process other crudes, the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Petroleum Refinery can process most African crude grades as well as Middle Eastern Arab Light and even US Light tight oil as well as crude from other countries.
The Lagos’ Lekki Free Zone-based refinery could also meet 100 per cent of the Nigeria’s requirement of all refined products, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation jet, and also have surplus of each of these products for export.
The refinery was built to take crude through its two SPMs located 25 kilometres from the shore and to discharge petroleum products through three separate SPMs.
In addition, the company reiterated that the refinery has the capacity to load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck loading gantries.
Dangote Refinery has a self-sufficient marine facility with the ability to handle the largest vessel globally available. In addition, all products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the statement.
The refinery was designed to comply with US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms as well as African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.
Commenting on the latest milestone achieved in the refinery’s journey, President of Dangote Group, Dangote, was quoted to have stated: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone. This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects.
“Our focus over the coming months is to ramp up the refinery to its full capacity. I look forward to the next significant milestone when we deliver the first batch of products to the Nigerian market.”
Also, the Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Okunbor stated: “We welcome the startup of a refinery that is designed to produce gasoline, diesel, and low-Sulphur fuels for Nigeria and across West Africa and are happy to be enabling it.”
It is our position that the people sincerely yearns for a permanent solution to the continuous difficulties which the Nigerian masses are experiencing. We therefore employ The Federal Government of Nigeria, NNPCL and other stakeholders in the sector to quickly deploy all hands, to resolve the teething fuel crises.