Fire Contained at $20 Billion Dangote Refinery

Early Wednesday morning, a fire broke out at the effluent treatment plant of the Dangote Oil Refinery, Africa’s largest oil refinery. The refinery, owned by Aliko Dangote, the continent’s richest person, continues to operate normally, with no accidents reported.

Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief Branding and Communications Officer at Dangote Industries Limited, confirmed the occurrence in a brief statement. “We have swiftly contained a minor fire incident at our effluent treatment plant (ETP), today Wed., June 26,” he informed us.

The refinery’s projected July debut on the fuel market may be delayed due to challenges caused by the suppressed fire catastrophe. According to industry sources, there is a shortage of available crude oil, which jeopardizes the refinery’s ability to reach its initial output targets.

“The refinery hasn’t received the crude volumes required to refine petrol for the July launch,” said an oil trading industry source. Jide Pratt, Country Manager at Trade Grid, stated, “The crude supply issue remains unresolved, and pricing for premium motor spirit (PMS) in USD is undecided, adding complexity.”

Pratt, like numerous industry analysts, believes the launch could be postponed until August or September, with a worst-case scenario stretching it out to December.

The Dangote Refinery, near Lekki, Lagos, has a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) and aims to lessen Nigeria’s dependency on imported fuel. However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which owns a 20% share, was intended to be the principal crude supplier but appears to be incapable of fulfilling this duty.

In a 2023 interview, Edwin Devakumar, vice president of Dangote Industries Limited, stated that the NNPC had already allocated its crude to other firms. Devakumar has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria of undermining the project.

Despite problems, the Dangote Oil Refinery remains a key African energy project, featuring sophisticated environmental sustainability features such as processed water recycling, waste heat generation, and carbon capture technologies. It also has a polypropylene plant and two big fertilizer trains, which demonstrate its industrial capabilities.

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