The Dangote oil refinery in Lagos, Nigeria, has received its first shipment of 1 million barrels of crude oil, marking a major milestone for the facility and bringing it closer to full operation.
This initial cargo, sourced from Shell International Trading and Shipping Co (STASCO), signifies a significant step forward for the refinery, which aims to transform Nigeria into a net exporter of fuels.
“The STASCO cargo arrived on a chartered vessel and was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks,” Reuters reported, quoting an unnamed spokesperson for Dangote Group.
The refinery, which is Africa’s largest, has been under construction for several years and has faced numerous delays. However, with the arrival of the first cargo of crude oil, the project appears to be finally on track to begin production.
The arrival of the Agbami crude, sourced from a deep-water field operated by Chevron, paves the way for the initial run of the refinery, expected to produce diesel, aviation fuel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). Production of Premium Motor Spirit will follow at a later stage.
“This is a major milestone for us,” said Aliko Dangote, president and CEO of Dangote Group, in a statement.
“We are excited to finally be receiving crude oil and starting the process of refining it into products that will benefit Nigerians across the country.”
Once fully operational, the refinery is expected to significantly reduce Nigeria’s reliance on imported fuels, saving the country billions of dollars each year.
The project has been hailed as a major boost for the Nigerian economy and is expected to create thousands of jobs. It is also seen as a major step forward for Africa’s energy sector.
A total of 6 million barrels of crude will be provided in the coming weeks, with NNPC delivering four cargoes and ExxonMobil supplying the final one. This collaboration is crucial for the refinery’s initial run and subsequent ramp-up to full capacity.
Nigeria’s reliance on fuel imports has long been a source of frustration, despite its status as Africa’s biggest oil producer. The country spent a staggering $23.3 billion on petroleum product imports last year alone, highlighting the urgent need for domestic refining capacity, Reuters reported.
The Dangote refinery, with its 650,000 barrel-per-day capacity, promises to address this issue and unlock a new era of fuel self-sufficiency for Nigeria.
The $19 billion project, funded by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, represents one of the largest single investments in Nigeria’s history and is expected to significantly impact the country’s economy.
“Our focus over the coming months is to ramp up the refinery to its full capacity,” stated Dangote, expressing his confidence in the project’s success.