The Dangote oil refinery in Lagos, Nigeria, has achieved a significant milestone with the receipt of its inaugural shipment comprising 1 million barrels of crude oil. This development signals a crucial advancement for the facility, bringing it closer to achieving full operational capacity,leadership reports.
The initial cargo, procured from Shell International Trading and Shipping Co (STASCO), is a noteworthy stride for the refinery, which aspires to transform Nigeria into a net exporter of fuels. According to an unidentified spokesperson for Dangote Group quoted by Reuters, the STASCO cargo was delivered via a chartered vessel and subsequently unloaded into the refinery’s crude oil tanks.
Despite facing prolonged construction and various delays, the arrival of the first crude oil cargo suggests that the project is now poised to commence production. The crude, sourced from the Agbami field operated by Chevron in deep waters, is anticipated to initiate the refinery’s first run, producing diesel, aviation fuel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The production of Premium Motor Spirit will follow in subsequent stages.
Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of Dangote Group, expressed excitement about this development, labeling it a major milestone. He emphasized the positive impact of refining crude oil into products that will benefit people across Nigeria.
Upon achieving full operational capacity, the refinery is expected to substantially diminish Nigeria’s dependence on imported fuels, resulting in significant cost savings for the country annually. The project is lauded as a considerable economic boost for Nigeria, projected to generate thousands of jobs and herald a notable advancement in Africa’s energy sector.
In the coming weeks, a total of 6 million barrels of crude will be supplied, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) delivering four cargoes and ExxonMobil providing the final one. This collaborative effort is pivotal for the initial run of the refinery and its subsequent ramp-up to full capacity.
Nigeria’s historical reliance on fuel imports, despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, has been a persistent concern. The country spent a substantial $23.3 billion on petroleum product imports in the previous year alone. The Dangote refinery, boasting a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, is poised to alleviate this dependency and usher in a new era of fuel self-sufficiency for Nigeria. Financed by Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, the $19 billion project represents one of the most substantial single investments in Nigeria’s history and is anticipated to exert a profound influence on the country’s economy. Dangote expressed confidence in the project’s success, focusing on the upcoming months dedicated to achieving the refinery’s full operational capacity.