By Adedapo Adesanya
Plans to commence operations by the first quarter of 2020 at the $14 billion worth Dangote Refinery located in Lagos State have been plagued with an air of uncertainty.
The proposed plan to make the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery operational by early next year may no longer be possible, if words from the man at the helms of affair at the company is anything to take to the bank.
According to Mr Devakumar Edwin, the Group Executive Director of the refinery, there are challenges that may see the refinery commence its operations not earlier than the end of next year (2020).
Mr Edwin said, “We will be able to complete the project by the end of next year – mechanical completion.”
According to Mr Edwin, who oversees the project, the development is due to the problems associated with the importation of steel and other equipment.
He said the company could start using the refinery’s tank farms as depots to warm-up operations because of the delays being experienced at the congested Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.
The Dangote Refinery is expected to go into fuel production within two months of completion. This could transform Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil producer into a net exporter of petroleum products.
Prior to the new development, business magnate, Mr Aliko Dangote, had said his 650,000 barrels per day refinery would begin operation in the first quarter of 2020.
Last year, during the FT Africa Summit in London, Mr Dangote said he expected the technical work on the refinery to be completed by the end of 2019 and actual operation to commence in 2020 and promised Nigerians that the refinery would start operation in 2019.
However, it is believed that the project experienced an unexpected delay which was caused by some unforeseen challenges.
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