Operations At Dangote Refinery To Begin  November 2023

Daud Olatunji

In a significant development for Nigeria’s energy landscape, the Dangote Refinery is on the verge of commencing petrol production by November 30, 2023. 

This milestone is part of the refinery’s ambitious plan to produce diesel and jet fuel by October 2023, as revealed by the group’s Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin.

Edwin, during an exclusive interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights, announced that the refinery is all set to receive its inaugural crude cargo within the next two weeks, marking the initial steps towards producing up to 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel by October 2023.

What’s even more striking is the refinery’s ambitious goal to gradually ramp up petrol production, aiming to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by the end of November 2023.

Edwin underscored the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil, stating, “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start.”

Explaining a slight shift in the original timeline, Edwin clarified that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited had already committed their crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, resulting in a temporary delay.

 However, he assured that this setback is momentary, and the refinery will exclusively run on Nigerian crude oil starting November 2023.

Notably, Edwin mentioned that the Nigerian oil would be purchased in US dollars, not naira, as the refinery operates within a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos. 

Nevertheless, the NNPCL will supply some crude at reduced prices due to its equity stake.

In terms of crude processing capabilities, Edwin highlighted that the Dangote refinery can handle various African crudes, Middle Eastern Arab Light, and even US light-tight oil.

 He stated, “We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them.”

Furthermore, Edwin detailed the refinery’s production profile, stating that 50% of its production would meet 100% of the country’s requirements. Excess gasoline, meeting Euro 5 quality standards with 10 ppm sulfur, will be exported to African markets, the US, and South America.

Jet fuel will find its way to Europe, while diesel will be distributed across sub-Saharan Africa.

S&P Global Commodity Insights quoted Edwin emphasizing the refinery’s significance, stating that it would “establish a reliable supply of environmentally-friendly refined products” and contribute significantly to Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.

Additionally, Edwin noted that the refinery’s operations would play a pivotal role in addressing the fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, particularly in the wake of Nigeria’s removal of fuel subsidies, which had led to a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.

Furthermore, he highlighted that the generated revenues would be reinvested to fuel further development projects, emphasizing Aliko Dangote’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria.

 “The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments,” Edwin affirmed, adding that Aliko Dangote’s primary focus is always on Nigeria.

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