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Argument flares up on actual delivery time of Dangote refinery, group maintains 2020

The given time for the completion and delivery of emerging 650,000bpd refinery being constructed by Aliko Dangote remains 2020 according to the Executive Director, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, who oversees the project. He told Reuters last month that more than half the plant’s output could be exported after covering domestic needs

However, a veiled group has disagreed with the company, saying with the state of things and pace of work in the swampy terrain; they did not expect petrol or diesel output before early 2022 as many units at the refinery and accompanying petrochemical plant would not be complete before then.

But in a swift response, Edwin brushed aside the speculation, referring it as the product of “someone’s wild imagination”.

“Ninety-five per cent of engineering has been completed; 90 per cent of procurement has been completed.”

“We started civil works in July last year and we have scheduled two and a half years for mechanical completion,” he said, referring to the point where a plant is ready to be handed over for inauguration.

Business Hilights recalls that Aliko Dangote had told Reuters last month that he hoped to finish building the refinery in 2019 and to start production in early 2020.

Dangote, who expects the project to cost $12-14bn, said in July he had raised more than $4.5bn.

A source in the group advising the federal government was quick to aver that “I’ve never seen a refinery of that scale built in two years. It’s highly improbable due to the sequence of events that need to happen; it cannot be fast-tracked safely”.

Continuing, it added that a refinery on such a scale would likely need five years to complete and the piling underpinning the plant had only started in the second half of last year and would take some more months to complete.

“Extra piling was needed to support the plant’s units in the swampy area, causing an unforeseen delay, the sources said.

Whereas a number of pundits foresee chances of delays owing to the scale of the project in an area with limited infrastructure, Gary Still, executive director of CITAC, a specialist consulting company focused on African downstream energy stressed that “In our forecast, we are putting late 2021 at the earliest for some petrol production but it may slip to 2022”.