The Dangote Refinery established by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is scheduled to be inaugurated on May 22.
According to presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad, the inauguration Will be done by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a tweet on his handle, Ahmad said, “Efforts by the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in local refining of crude oil to save the scarce foreign exchange used in the importation of petroleum products have received a boost as the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery, the world’s largest single-train refinery, is set for inauguration on May 22nd, 2023, by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
An invitation seen by The PUNCH stated, “Save the date, Mon, May 22, 2023, for the official commissioning of Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals FZE.”
The Dangote Refinery complex is located in the Lekki Free Zone area of Lagos. The refinery is the biggest in Africa and also the biggest single-train refinery in the world.
A single-train refinery uses an integrated distillation unit or one crude distillation unit to refine crude oil into various petroleum products, as against the use of multiple distillation units by most big refineries.
Dangote announced in late 2013 that his conglomerate had signed an initial $3.3bn loan deal with local and foreign banks to fund the construction of a new oil refinery in Nigeria.
The refinery was initially expected to start production in 2016 but plans to expand its capacity and a change of location to a 2,500-hectare site in Ibeju Lekki on the outskirts of Lagos saw the deadline for completion of construction shifted to late 2019, with the commencement of production expected in 2020.
In August, news emerged that completion would be further delayed. Difficulties in importing “steel and other equipment” have been largely blamed for the problem, Reuters reported then.
The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in January 2022, revealed that its refinery subsidiary would commence processing of crude oil in the third quarter of 2022 but it failed to take off.
In March, a report by S&P Global said that the delayed commencement of the Dangote refinery meant the continued importation of about 700,000 bpd of diesel in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Some experts believe that the facility will meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products and also have a surplus of each of the products for export.