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Africa’s Largest Refinery Begins Production in Nigeria

The Dangote Refinery in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest, has launched production of fuels, the Dangote Group of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said this weekend, marking the start-up of the refinery that has seen years of delays.

“Dangote Petroleum Refinery has commenced production of diesel and aviation fuel,” the group said in a statement, adding that the new refinery is “a game changer for our country.”

The Refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the Refinery will conform to Euro V specifications. The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and DPR emission/effluent norms, the Nigerian group said.

The refinery, which was commissioned last year, received 1 million barrels of Agbami crude from Shell’s trading unit in early December. The cargo was one of 6 million barrels of crude which will enable the start-up of the refinery,

Earlier this month, the refinery received the sixth crude cargo that would allow it to start initial runs, Dangote Ports Operations managing director Akin Omole told Argus last week.

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 the products for export.

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.

Nigeria hopes the new refinery will alleviate its 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.

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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 gasoline complying with Europe’s emissions standards, is not expected to be produced until late 2024, according to analysts at Facts Global Energy.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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