Home Forums African Products Showcasing Facts About Dangote Oil Refinery, Africa’s Biggest Oil Refinery.

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    Grace Amos

      Recently Nigeria’s government commissioned the largest single-train oil refinery in the world, built by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who heads the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

      The Dangote Refinery is an oil refinery owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. It was recently inaugurated on the 22nd of May 2023 in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. The petroleum refinery is built on 2,635 hectares of land, located in the Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day. It is the largest single-train refinery in the world with an investment of over 19 billion US dollars.


      In September 2013, Aliko Dangote revealed plans for the refinery after he had secured about $3.3 billion in financing the project in which the Dangote Group invested. The refinery was at that time estimated to cost about $9 billion and required funding from commercial institutions. The initial time of production was 2016, however, after a change in location, the completion date was pushed back to late 2018.

      Later in 2017, construction began and Dangote estimated that the refinery would be mechanically complete in late 2019 and commissioned in early 2020. However, sources from Reuters disclosed that construction was likely going to take at least twice as long as Dangote publicly stated, it was going to take until 2022 to achieve completion. Alongside the construction of the petroleum refinery, the urea fertilizer factory was scheduled to begin operation in late 2018 and produce about three million tons of urea annually.

      The project was later estimated to cost up to $15 billion in total, with $10 billion invested in the refinery, $2.5 billion in the fertilizer factory, and $2.5 billion in pipeline infrastructure; this was in 2018. Dangote required a loan of 187 billion naira (about $442 million USD) at 12.75% or 13.5% per annum to finish the refinery in July 2022. The refinery’s opening date was delayed three times in the past four years, which could have diminished investor confidence if operations did not start in 2023.

      The fate of Nigeria’s petroleum sector relied extensively on the completion of the Dangote refinery, as all the NNPC’s four refineries located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri are inactive at the moment. The completion of the refinery’s power plant was announced in January 2023. It has the largest 9000 KTPA Polypropylene Plant ever built. It has the capacity of producing 100% of Nigeria’s requirement for all refined products – gasoline, 57 million liters per day; diesel, 27 million liters per day; kerosene, 11 million liters per day and aviation jet, nine million liters per day and still have a surplus of each of these products for export.

      The Dangote Oil Refinery has a Nelson Complexity Index of 10.5 which means that it will be more complex than most refineries in the US which is an average of 9.5 or the Europe, 6.5. The Nelson Complexity Index basically increases with the number and capacity of chemical procedures after the distillation like hydrocracking, NHT, CCR, RFCC, and polymerization.

      The inauguration gathered International dignitaries like the President of Togo, Ghana, Senegal, Niger Republic, Chad, and ambassadors to witness the historic event. 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 also graced the ceremony.

      Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari described the mega-industry as an example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported. The refinery was established to promote self-sufficiency in petrol in the country and global competitiveness. It is also expected to mark Nigeria’s exit from the league of oil-rich nations which are heavy importers of petroleum products.

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