For decades, Nigeria has always battled with the issue of oil. Sometimes, it is in the price that consumers pay for fuel. Other times, it is the fact that Nigeria’s finance is affected because of the government’s inability to meet up OPEC’s quota. Regardless, Nigeria as an oil-producing nation is not supposed to be importing refined fuel. Our refineries have been abandoned for a long time. In fact, the refineries cost the Federal Government in billions of naira without refining a drop of oil.
With the non-working condition of the refineries, Nigeria has no choice but to import refined fuel from other countries. The cost implication of doing this is humongous and importers of these products will simply pass on the cost to the final consumer. Consequently, the government has been subsidizing the cost of the import so that the people can buy it at a cheaper rate. However, in recent years, there has been a lot of discourse around fuel subsidy removal, with the Federal Government slated to implement it at the end of June 2023.
Dangote’s refinery is the first local one in years.
So, there has always been a need to have a local refinery. Construction of the plant began in 2016 and President Muhammadu Buhari is set to commission it in 2023. The refinery is expected to generate $20 billion annually for Nigeria and reposition the country as an energy hub globally. Recently, there were indications that Dangote Petroleum Refinery has the capacity to supply adequate petroleum products — gasoline, diesel, kerosene and aviation jet — to consumers in Nigeria.
This will effectively end the importation of fuel into Nigeria. In the facts sheet that the media obtained, it was stated that the firm can meet 100 percent of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products. This includes 53 million liters of gasoline every day; 34 million liters of diesel per day; 10 million liters of kerosene per day; and 2 million liters of aviation jet fuel every day. It was also stated that the processing plant will have excess of each of these products for export after meeting local needs.
Refinery design complies with international standards.
The plant is designed for 100 percent Nigerian crude but with the flexibility to process other types of crude. It is also a self-sufficient marine facility with the ability for freight optimization. It has the largest single order of five SPM anywhere in the world. As well, diesel and gasoline products from the plant will conform to international standards, particularly Euro V specifications. The refinery design complies to World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms.
Designed with state-of-the-art technology, it can process large variety of crudes including many of the African crudes, some of the Middle Eastern crudes and the US light tight oil. The report also stated: “65 million cubic meters of sand dredged costing approx. 300 million euros; using the world’s largest, the second largest and the tenth largest dredgers to elevate the height by 1.5 meters to insure against any potential impact of increase in mean sea level due to global warming.”
Other details of the new refinery in the fact sheet.
In the fact sheet, other details were also included. Over 1,209 units of various equipment were bought to enhance the local capacity for site works. This is because even the biggest local civil contractors are unable to handle even small portions of the plant’s construction requirement. A total of 332 cranes were bought to build up equipment installation capacity. The company also built the world’s largest granite quarry to supply coarse aggregate, stone column material, stone base, stone dust & material for break water. All these were some of the details of the construction.