- Shehu Sani resigns, quits APC, fails to give reasons
- Baba Sala’s friend, colleague, Ajimajasan dies few days apart
- Buhari calls late Hauwa Liman’s father
- Atiku picks Peter Obi as running mate for 2019 Presidential Election
- Lagos APC shun NWC, declares Sanwo-Olu winner of governorship primary
- NWC cancels Lagos APC primaries, Sanwo-olu reportedly defeats Ambode
- Lagos APC Primaries: Buhari summons Tinubu, Ambode today
- Two Nigerian Air Force jets crash while rehearsing for Independence celebrations, 1 Pilot confirmed dead
- Osun State Election Result: Adeleke, PDP disappointed as errors emerge in Ayedaade, Osogbo poll results
- National Carrier Project: Nigeria Air has been suspended indefinitely
Dangote oil refinery may be delayed till 2022
Reuters quoted sources with direct knowledge of the matter as saying this in a report on Friday.
The 650,000 barrel per day refinery, set to be Africa’s biggest, is expected to boost Nigeria’s growth and turn the country from an importer of refined products into an exporter.
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, told Reuters last month that he hoped to finish building the refinery in 2019 and to start production in early 2020.
However, the sources, who were said to have been on the site many times, said they did not expect petrol or diesel output before early 2022 and even then, many units at the refinery and accompanying petrochemical plant would not be complete.
The Executive Director, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, who oversees the project, described the suggestion that the refinery was unlikely to start production until 2022 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.
Dangote, who expects the project to cost $12-14bn, said in July he had raised more than $4.5bn.
“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,” one of the sources advising the Nigerian government said.
The sources said 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.
Analysts also anticipate delays owing to the scale of the project in an area with limited infrastructure.
“In our forecast, we are putting late 2021 at the earliest for some petrol production but it may slip to 2022,” said Gary Still, executive director of CITAC, a specialist consulting company focused on African downstream energy.