Finally, Dangote Refinery begins production

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The Dangote Petroleum Refinery has finally commenced production, according to company sources.

The largest single-train refinery in the world began production in the early hours of Friday and a bright flame from its flare stack could be seen for kilometers in the Lekki area in this evening.

The development comes days after the refinery received its sixth one million barrels of crude cargo required for the commencement of operations.

Five shipments of crude had been earlier delivered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to the refinery.

On December 8, 2023, Dangote received an initial one million barrels of Agbami crude grade from Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCO).

The refinery, on December 20, 2023, received the second phase of its crude feedstock from the NNPC, with the third shipment of one million barrels of crude oil feedstock from STASCO received on December 29, 2023.

The NNPC supplied the refiner with its fourth and fifth crude shipment respectively on January 1 and 5, 2024.

Akin Omole, managing director of Dangote Ports Operations, had told journalists at the Dangote quay in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, that the receipt of six million barrels of crude would “facilitate the initial run of the refinery as well as kick-start the production of diesel, aviation fuel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) before subsequently progressing to the production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)”.

The 650,000 bpd capacity refinery was inaugurated by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.

Aliko Dangote had said the refinery has secured a license to refine more than 300,000 barrels of crude per day.

The project started in 2018 suffered delays and cost overruns and was eventually delivered at a cost of $20.5bn as against and estimated $9bn.

The NNPC had acquired a 20 per cent stake in August 2023 injecting over $2bn as part of a government strategy to ensure its completion which would end decades of fuel imports that have damaged the nation’s economy.

The project includes a petrochemicals and fertilizer production plant and  is powered by  435MW plant.