Breather for ailing economy as Dangote Refinery begins operation
Aliko Dangote (R) and AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina at the refinery site

…to receive first crude cargo in two weeks’ time

Dangote Refinery is set to begin refining diesel and jet fuel by October 2023 and petrol operations by November 30, 2023.

The group’s Executive Eirector Devakumar Edwin, who made this this known in an interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights on Monday, stated that the refinery would receive its first crude cargo in two weeks’ time and would begin producing up to 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel in October 2023.

Edwin further pointed out that the refinery would initiate a gradual increase in petrol production, aiming to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by November 30.

He emphasised the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil, stating, “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start”.

Speaking on the shift in the original timeline, Edwin explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) had already committed its crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, causing a temporary delay.

He said that the setback is momentary, and the refinery would soon run exclusively on Nigerian crude oil as of November 2023.

He noted that the Nigerian oil would be purchased in US dollars, and not naira because it is in a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos.

However, the NNPCL will supply some crude at knockdown prices due to its equity stake.

Edwin further stated that, aside from heavy Angolan grades, the Dangote refinery can process most African crudes, as well as Middle Eastern Arab Light and even US light-tight oil.

“We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them.

“Basically, if you look at our production profile, 50% of my production will meet 100% of the requirements of the country.

“Excess gasoline – which will be 10 ppm sulfur Euro 5 quality — will be exported to other African markets as well as the US and South America, although the volumes will be relatively small.

“Meanwhile, jet fuel will be exported to Europe and diesel will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa”.

S&P also quoted Edwin as saying the refinery would be “enormously beneficial to the country” by establishing a reliable supply of “environmentally-friendly” refined products and bringing “a huge amount of foreign exchange into the country”.

Furthermore, Edwin noted that the refinery would play a pivotal role in alleviating the fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, worsened by Nigeria’s recent removal of fuel subsidies, which had led to a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.

Additionally, he added that revenues generated from the refinery’s operations would be reinvested to fuel further developments, underscoring Aliko Dangote’s commitment to Nigeria.

“The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments.

“Aliko Dangote is from Nigeria and his focus is always on Nigeria”, Edwin noted.

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