Dangote oil refinery, valued at $19 billion, has received a significant boost with a 1 million-barrel crude cargo from the state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation LImited(NNPCL) .
This shipment marks the second crude cargo received by the refinery this month, indicating its accelerating preparations to commence operations, Reuters reported quoting an unnamed Dangote spokesperson on Wednesday.
The refinery, although behind schedule, is anticipated to transform Africa’s largest oil producer into a net exporter of fuels, a strategic move for the country that currently heavily relies on fuel imports, despite its OPEC membership.
The Dangote spokesperson confirmed that the loaded crude, sourced from Shell’s Bonny Terminal, is scheduled for discharge at the refinery situated outside Lagos on Wednesday. Moreover, an additional 3 million barrels are expected to be delivered by month-end, along with a supply from ExxonMobil.
In line with enhancing local refining capacity, Nigeria is targeting a production of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) next year, exceeding its OPEC quota of 1.5 million bpd. This higher production aims to support the Dangote plant and ongoing upgrades at state-owned refineries.
Meanwhile, the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in Rivers State resumed operations on Friday, a significant development following prolonged underperformance and maintenance issues. The facility, which was shut down in 2019, holds a combined processing capacity with other Nigerian refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna amounting to 445,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The rehabilitation of the PHRC, backed by a $1.5 billion investment, has seen progress. Maire Tecnimont, an Italian firm, was tasked with overseeing repairs at the Port Harcourt location, aiming to reach 90 percent of the refinery’s nameplate capacity within the first 18 months, as former Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipre Sylva, revealed.
Dr. Joseph Obele, former Chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State, highlighted the completion of the first phase of rehabilitation at the Port Harcourt Refinery, currently undergoing a test run.