The $14bn Dangote Refinery which had earlier been projected to fully commence operations by the first quarter of 2020 has hit a brick wall following problems associated with importation of steel and other equipment.
According to Devakumar Edwin, the Group Executive Director of the refinery, the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery man not commence its operations not earlier than the end of next year.
He said the company could start using the refinery’s tank farms as depots to warm-up operations because of the delays being experienced at the congested Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.
Note that the Dangote Refinery is expected to go into fuel production within two months of completion. This could transform Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil producer into a net exporter of petroleum products.
Prior to the new development, business magnate, Aliko Dangote, had said his 650,000 barrels per day refinery would begin operation in the first quarter of 2020.
Last year, during the FT Africa Summit in London, Dangote said he expected the technical work on the refinery to be completed by the end of 2019 and actual operation to commence in 2020.
The billionaire also promised Nigerians, especially the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, that the refinery would start operation in 2019.
Meanwhile, Dangote has been committed to scaling through the huddles in order to fulfil his commitment to make Nigeria an oil exporter.
Dangote explained that he had to build a new jetty to handle the delivery of heavy equipment needed to complete the project as Nigerian ports were not built to handle mega projects like the Dangote refinery.
He also explained that because of the environment in which the refinery is being built, he had to construct 138 kilometres of road within the area to ease the movement of equipment.