Dangote Refinery says it has received its first one million barrels of Agbami crude grade from Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCO) in a major step towards increasing Nigeria’s local refining capacity.
In a Friday statement, the Dangote Refinery explained that the cargo sailed to the facility’s Single-Point Mooring (SPM) where it was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks.
“The STASCO cargo contained 1 million barrels from Agbami and sailed to Dangote Refinery’s Single Point Mooring (SPM) where it was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks,” it said.
The company says the inaugural one million barrels of crude supply, which represents the first phase of the six million barrels to be supplied to its refinery by several suppliers, should sustain the initial 350 thousand barrels per day needed for the commencement of crude production at its facility.
Meanwhile, the company clarified that the next four cargoes will be supplied by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in two to three weeks while the final of the six cargoes will be supplied by ExxonMobil.
“This supply will facilitate the initial run of the refinery as well as kick-start the production of diesel, aviation fuel, and LPG before subsequently progressing to the production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” it said.
Commissioned in May by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari after years of delay, the facility in the Lekki area of Lagos State is billed as Africa’s largest oil refinery.
Built by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote in the commercial hub of Lagos, the refinery — with the ability to process 650,000 barrels a day when at full capacity — was expected to begin operations in June.
Despite being Africa’s most populous nation and one of the continent’s largest crude producers, Nigeria has depended on imports to meet local demand because of under-performing state-run refineries.
Nigeria swapped crude worth billions of dollars for gasoline it previously subsidized for its domestic market. However, the huge drain on foreign exchange at a time of dwindling oil revenue pushed the government to remove the subsidy.
However, with the new oil plant getting shipment, the facility is poised to be a game changer.
“Our focus over the coming months is to ramp up the refinery to its full capacity. I look forward to the next significant milestone when we deliver the first batch of products to the Nigerian market,” the President of Dangote Group Mr. Aliko Dangote said.
The new facility lies on 2,635 hectares (6,500 acres) of land at the Lekki Free Zone and costs an estimated $19bn according to local media.