The 650,000 barrel capacity petrochemical refinery per day project being executed by Dangote is capable of transforming and diversifying the Nigerian economy when completed.
Mr. Devakumar Edwin, the Dangote Group Executive Director, while speaking during a panel session on “Promoting Efficiency and Clean Fuels in African Refining and Petrochemicals Market at the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) conference in Lagos, yesterday described the refinery as one of the most strategic socio-economic projects in Nigeria, featuring the largest single train petroleum refinery in the globe with 650,000 bpd capacity.
Edwin, who was represented by the Director Business Strategy and Optimization, Dangote Refinery, Mr Srinivas Rachakonda, said that Dangote Oil Refinery Company (DORC) has been designed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude and produce extremely clean fuels that meet Euro V specification.
He said that the Sulphur in petroleum fuels results in vehicle exhaust emissions that have negative impact on health and environment.
According to him, Dangote Refinery is investing in most advanced units to produce Euro V fuel due to help Nigeria meet the European Standard of gasoline, adding that the construction of the Refinery will provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs and add value to the Nigeria’s economic development.
He noted that the Refinery will lead to significant skills transfer and technology acquisition opportunities in the country.
The company he said has embarked on a landmark integrated Refinery and Petrochemical project, regarded as the largest industrial complex in the history of Africa, which is expected to take Nigeria to new heights through transformation of the economy.
According to him, the refinery will ensure that the security of local supply of petroleum products is guaranteed as well as the availability of petrochemical feedstock (Poly-propylene & Polyethylene), which will be enough for the Nigerian market as well as the neighboring countries.
“In addition to Polypropylene Polyethylene, the Refinery will also produce Carbon Black feedstock and Sulphur.
With a fast-growing population and poor infrastructure, he said the refinery will also reposition Nigeria as an attractive investment destination and a major industrial hub in Africa.
He disclosed that the company has also invested in the East West Offshore Gas Gathering System (EWOGGS) project, which is expected to unlock significant gas supply and help to reduce gas flaring in Nigeria.
He said that the first phase is expected to deliver gas for the use of Dangote Industries, including the proposed fertiliser plant in the refinery complex, and other identified industrial and power plant users.
Speaking during the session, former Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Reginald Stanley said Dangote Refinery is going to be a game changer for the entire African downstream industry.
Stanley said that the refinery would attract global attention and market when completed, adding that the initiative has raised hope for other African countries on the viability of investing in a huge refinery.
He said the refinery would open a sub-regional market with a West African price index for countries in the sub-region.
When the refinery becomes operational, Nigeria’s import of products would stop or reduce drastically, and the cost of products imports from Europe and Asia by smaller consuming countries around Nigeria would be expected to increase.
In his welcome address, Chairman, OTL Africa Downstream, Mr. Emeka Akabogu, said recent market tendencies have shown appetite for some categories of investment in the downstream value chain.
Akabogu noted that there have been considerable investments in retail outlet development, marine logistics platforms and storage facilities across the country, while several refinery projects that aim to balance the discrepancy caused by inadequate refining capacity on the continent are currently underway.
He said other emerging developments, issues bordering on regulation of the industry and independence of the regulators themselves have also received the attention of stakeholders
However, he added that policy development and implementation have not kept pace with the urgency of industry needs and the appetite of market operators.
Speaking on the impact of the conference, Akabogu stated: “This year’s event will further empower African oil and gas companies to harness the economic potential of the downstream sector in areas ranging from crude oil value addition to refining, to development of critical supply infrastructure across African States. Issues to be discussed include prospects for refining in Africa, finance for downstream trading and infrastructure projects, regional cooperation, mergers, takeovers and lots more. We will also see discussions on the sector’s disruptive influences, the rising profile and application of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) across the continent, as well as renewable energy”.