For decades, Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has been a paradox: a nation swimming in crude yet dependent on imported refined fuel.
However, a new chapter has begun with the refining of maiden crude from the Dangote Refinery, a behemoth poised to change the game.
The refinery, funded at a cost of $20 billion by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is being built at Lekki, on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos.
Here is a breakdown of how the journey started.
2013 – The Vision Takes Shape: Billionaire industrialist Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, announces plans for a mega-refinery in Lekki, Lagos. The project, with an estimated cost of $19 billion, is envisioned to be the single largest private-sector industrial development in Africa.
2017 – But construction did not start till 2017, a development some analysts say reflects the failure of the government in Africa’s most populous nation to put in place an effective support mechanism to take high-impact project plans from the drawing board to completion.
2019 – Hurdles and Milestones: Construction faces challenges, including financing delays and logistical hurdles. However, key milestones are achieved, with the installation of major equipment and the completion of critical infrastructure.
2020 – Pandemic Disruption: The global COVID-19 pandemic throws a wrench into the works, causing delays and supply chain disruptions. Despite the setback, construction continues, albeit at a slower pace.
May 22, 2023- The Dangote Refinery was officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari. The event is hailed as a historic moment for Nigeria, with hopes that the refinery will usher in a new era of fuel self-sufficiency.
December 8, 2023-the refinery received its first shipment of crude oil, marking a major milestone for the project. A cargo from Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCO) containing one million barrels sailed from Agbami to Dangote Refinery’s Single Point Mooring (SPM) where it was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks.
The 1-million-barrel shipment is the first of a 6-million-barrel commitment from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
December 20, 2023- The refinery received its second crude cargo, another one million barrels of oil from Shell International Trading and Shipping, as it steps up preparations to begin operations, a company spokesperson said.
December 28 2023- The largest single-train refinery received its third one-million-barrel crude oil cargo from STASCO, bringing the total to three million barrels at the facility’s Single-Point Mooring.
January 1 2024-The refinery received its fourth crude supply of one million barrels of bonny light oil from the NNPC.
January 6, 2024- Dangote Petroleum Refinery, received the fifth crude oil shipment of one million barrels of Bonny Light supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
January 12 2024- The Dangote Refinery started production. The largest single-train refinery in the world located in Nigeria’s commercial hub began operations in the early hours of Friday.