Work at the 650,000-barrel per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project being promoted by Dangote Group, has reached 80 per cent completion, the firm said on Wednesday.
Dangote Refinery Group Executive Director (Projects and Portfolio Management) Edwin Devakumar said the percentage covered the project’s engineering, design and procurements.
He, however, clarified that the level of completion of some aspects of the project such as physical construction, remain at 60 per cent.
Devakumar, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, said the refinery is expected to be ready by the middle of next year, generating about 230,000 indirect jobs.
On whether the refinery would have an impact on the price of fuel, he noted that this is a basic principle of demand and supply.
Dangote refinery, under construction in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility, upon completion.
Devakumar also stated that the Dangote Group’s granulated urea fertiliser plant at Ibeju Lekki will begin operation before the end of December, adding that the fertiliser products will be out in the market before the end of November 2020.
He further explained that work at the refinery, earlier scheduled for completion this year, had been impacted by the pandemic.
Devakumar said: “Dangote fertiliser products will be out in the market before the end of November (2020).
“Looking exclusively at construction, we have arrived at 60 per cent, but overall, we are at 80 per cent.
“The reason is because we had the impact of the COVID-19 because many of the countries where our equipment were being manufactured were affected, and, so now we hope to complete everything and make it fit or ready by middle of next year and then start the commissioning process which will take up to three, four months because it is a huge refinery.
“We will then start with bringing our products in the market. So, by last quarter next year, we should have our products coming into the market.
“Where the demand exceeds the supply, the prices go up and when supply exceeds demand, the prices will come down.”
Devakumar also described as untrue an alleged report that a worker was shot and killed by policemen while protesting at the Refinery on Tuesday. He described the reports as false and malicious.
The director explained that the protesters were not the company’s employees but sub-contractors locked in a pay dispute with their employer, adding that the Group had stepped in to resolve the dispute.
He said: “It is very unfair and malicious of some of these online media reports making rounds that we ordered policemen to shoot. This is very false and not true.”