Five African Presidents join Buhari to inaugurate Dangote refinery today
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday inaugurate Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals, the world’s largest single train refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, alongside his counterparts from Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Niger, and Chad.
Promoted by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, the petroleum refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) is sitting on 2,635 hectares of land located in Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, and will provide employment to over 100,000 persons.
The coming on stream of the gigantic project is expected to mark Nigeria’s exit from the league of oil rich nations but which are heavy importers of the petroleum products.
Expected at the historic event apart from international dignitaries are Presidents of Togo, Gnassingbé Eyadéma; Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, President of Chad, Mahamat Déby and a host of ambassadors.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who will not be physically present will however present his goodwill message virtually.
As at the time of filing this report, all the 36 state governors and most of the governors-elect, ministers, senators, and captains of industries in Nigeria and others from outside the country, global oil traders, top international bankers and international multilateral agencies have indicated readiness to grace the ceremony.
Unleashing the power of priority
Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whose administration as the governor of Lagos in 2002 floated the Free Trade Zone in Ibeju-Lekki where the Refinery is located, is expected to be at the event.
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The commissioning of Dangote Petroleum Refinery is significant given that it is the first time that a refinery of such magnitude built by an individual is being inaugurated.
Dangote’s petroleum refinery is expected to meet the needs of Nigerian consumers and those in neighbouring countries, while allowing for exports beyond the African continent. The refinery will drive the promotion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as over 50 countries in the trade bloc depend on imported refined petroleum products.
According to the Facts Sheet on Dangote Petroleum Refinery, the new Refinery can meet 100% of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products (Gasoline, 53 million litres per day; Diesel, 34 million litres per day; Kerosene, 10 million litres per day, and Aviation Jet, two million litres per day) and also have surplus of each of these products for export.
“The refinery is designed for 100 percent Nigerian Crude with flexibility to process other crudes. It has self-sufficient marine facility with ability for freight optimisation, and the largest single order of 5 SPMs anywhere in the world. Diesel and Gasoline Products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications.
“The refinery design complies with World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms. State-of-the-art technology. Designed to process large variety of crudes including many of the African Crudes, some of the Middle Eastern Crudes and the US Light Tight Oil,” the Facts sheet added.
It also stated: “65 Million Cubic Metres of sand dredged costing approximately Euros 300 million, using the world’s largest, the second largest and the tenth largest dredgers to elevate the height by 1.5 metres, to insure against any potential impact of increase in mean sea level due to global warming. Bought over 1,209 units of various equipment to enhance the local capacity for site works.
“332 cranes to build up equipment installation capacity. Built the world’s largest granite quarry to supply coarse aggregate, stone column material, stone base, stone dust & material for break water. (10 million tonnes per year production capacity).
“Developed a port and constructed two quays with a load bearing capacity of 25 tonnes/ sq metres to bring Over Dimensional Cargoes close to the site directly. The company also constructed two more quays in the port with a capacity to handle up to Panamax vessels to export the fertiliser and the petrochemicals and two quays to handle liquid cargoes. The port will thus have 6 quays, including a Roll-on/Roll-off quay”, the sheet added.
Meanwhile, operators under the auspices of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have listed key things necessary for the sustenance of the new largest oil refinery.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of MOMAN, Mr Clement Isong, said the Nigeria’s government would need to complement the inauguration of the new refinery with policies that will ensure the country enjoys all benefits.
Isong, who described the new oil facility as mega refinery, urged the federal government to consider its policy in respect of forex by moving it towards single window.
According to him, government must ensure that it has pricing visibility and transparency in the management of policy on forex if the country intends to take full advantage of the refinery.
He said:” The government’s policy on forex has to move towards single window. The World Bank and others have said that multiple window, apart from lack of transparency that it brings, is also discouraging people from bringing their Dollar to the country.
“Government must resolve the forex policy and find what is best for the country.”
With the ongoing implementation of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Isong pointed out that the products are going to be sold at the market price so that the refinery can be sustained.
According to him, this means that subsidies are going to be removed.
“These are some of the key policies that must be put in place if Nigeria is going to take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” the MOMAN’s chief executive officer, said.
Dangote announced in late 2013 that his conglomerate had signed an initial $3.3bn loan deal with local and foreign banks to fund the construction of a new oil refinery in Nigeria.
The refinery was initially expected to start production in 2016 but plans to expand its capacity and a change of location to a 2,500-hectare site in Ibeju Lekki on the outskirts of Lagos saw the deadline for completion of construction shifted to late 2019, 2020, with the commencement of production expected in second quarter of 2023.
The Dangote Refinery is established by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
The 435 MW Power Plant in the Refinery alone will be able to meet the total power requirement of Ibadan DisCo of 860,316 MWh covering five States including Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara and Ekiti.
Also, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Professor Adesoji Adesugba has congratulated Alhaji Dangote on the successful completion of the refinery in Lagos.
Speaking at the weekend in Abuja, Adesugba described the huge investment in the Dangote Refinery, one of Nigeria’s flagship free trade zones as patriotic.
He said that the multi-billion-dollar investment is a further testament on the extent the Nigerian billionaire investor could go to contribute his quota to solving the country’s energy challenge.
Adesugba explained that the Dangote Free Zone with diligent supervision by NEPZA successfully bequeathed the country with an enviable global energy infrastructure.
According to a statement by Martins Odeh, the NEPZA chief executive officer therefore, urged local investors to emulate Dangote by exploring the free trade scheme.
“On behalf of myself, management and staff of the authority, I congratulate Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the entire management and staff of the Dangote Free Trade Zone for the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Refinery.
“Let me also congratulate, President Muhammaadu Buhari GCFR for his commitment in delivering a competitive free trade zone scheme for Nigeria.’’
He advised the state governments who are yet to key into the scheme to do so without further delay, noting that the freezone scheme was the only viable tool the sub-nationals could use in attracting investment and development within their limited tenures.