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Africa’s Largest Oil Refinery Moves Closer to Start-up

The Dangote Refinery in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest, is expected to receive on Friday its first of several cargoes of crude oil that would enable it to begin initial runs, the Dangote group said in a statement seen by Reuters.

The refinery, which has been commissioned but has yet to begin producing any fuel, will receive 1 million barrels of Agbami crude from Shell’s trading unit. The cargo is one of 6 million barrels of crude which will enable the start-up of the refinery, according to the Dangote group of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.  

The refinery, with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd), will meet 100% of Nigeria’s demand for all refined petroleum products and will also have a surplus of each of these products for export. The refinery is designed to process Nigerian crude with the ability to also process other crudes.

The project, which has cost around $20 billion, up from initial cost estimates of between $12 billion and $14 billion, has seen years of delays.

Full-scale production at the refinery, including production of gasoline for Europe, is not expected to begin until the second half of 2024, analysts said last month.

After years of delays and massive cost overruns, Nigeria finally saw the giant oil refinery commissioned in May. The Dangote Refinery was inaugurated by Nigeria’s former President Muhammadu Buhari before he left office at the end of May.

The government hopes the new refinery will alleviate a chronic fuel shortage that has turned Africa’s biggest oil producer into a fuel importer. Nigeria, OPEC’s top crude oil producer in Africa, has had to rely on fuel imports due to a lack of enough capacity at its refineries, some of which had to undergo refurbishment in recent years.

The Dangote refinery expects to export diesel to customers in Europe, as well as gasoline to Latin American and African markets. 


However, production of Euro V gasoline, the fuel complying with Europe’s emissions standards, is not expected to be produced until late next year, according to analysts at Facts Global Energy.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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