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Government approval delays Dangote refinery fuel

Indications have emerged that lingering regulatory approvals have stalled Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel (Jet A1) and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market in January, findings by The PUNCH have shown.

One week after the January 31 timeline set by the management of Africa’s largest refinery to begin sale of its petroleum product in the local market, the refinery is still battling to cross the hurdles of the several layers of regulatory approvals.NYSC PORTAL

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The development came almost a month after the refinery began the production of petroleum products at the expansive facility.

On January 12, 2024, Dangote refinery announced that it had commenced the production of Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, and aviation fuel or JetA1.

The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, in a statement issued by his firm at the time, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.JAMB Result

Dangote also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NMDPRA and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project, as he revealed that the facility would pump out diesel and aviation fuel in January, subject to regulatory approvals.

He said, “We thank President Bola Tinubu for his support and for making our dream come true. This production, as witnessed today, would not have been possible without his visionary leadership and prompt attention to details.informationguidenigeria

“His intervention at various stages cleared all impediments thereby accelerating the actualisation of the project. We also thank the NNPC, NUPRC and NMDPRA  for their support. These organisations have been our dependable partners in this historic journey.

“We also thank Nigerians for their belief and support in this project. We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals.”

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The confirmed on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the plant had yet to pump out diesel nor aviation fuel, amid an anxious wait by operators in the downstream sector and Nigerians consumers.JAMB Portal

Findings showed major and independent oil marketers were keenly waiting for the sale of refined products from the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery even though the January 2024 target for the release of fuel by the facility passed.

But multiple officials of regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector revealed to The PUNCH on Wednesday that the facility had yet to complete the various stages of its regulatory processes.

It was gathered that officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority were still assessing the products being produced by the plant before the agency would issue regulatory approvals for the products’ release into the market.

Approval delayed

Multiple sources at both the Abuja headquarters and Lagos regional office of the NMDPRA, the regulator of Nigeria’s midstream and downstream oil sector, confirmed that the process for the release of regulatory approvals was still ongoing.

“Definitely before any release of products is made, approvals must have been granted and this is being worked. The appropriate department is working out the approvals.

“We cannot tell you exactly what these approvals consist of. But the fact is that for Dangote refinery to release products, the requisite approvals must be granted, because the regulator needs to look at the quality of the products, whether they (products) meet specifications, etc, before they are being released to the market.

“So the approvals are being worked on. However, I cannot give you the date when it is going to be completed, but just know that the process is ongoing and I’ll brief you on an updated position,” an official, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated.

Also, oil marketers told our correspondent that they had yet to receive the commercial terms for the supply of products from the facility, stressing that this was still being awaited.

“The commercial terms are still being sorted out and we are expecting that information from the refinery as well,” the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Major Energies’ Marketers Association of Nigeria, Clement Isong, stated.

The PUNCH had reported on January 15, 2024 that the seven major oil marketers in Nigeria had registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.

The report stated that dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (now MEMAN) confirmed that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms were sorted.

It further stated the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they met with the management of the Dangote refinery to discuss terms of product loading.

Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.

The report outlined the seven major marketers to include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.

IPMAN awaits Dangote

When also contacted to provide updates on their engagements with Dangote refinery, the National President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, said independent marketers were still awaiting feedback from the management of the facility.

He said, “We are still expecting the products from them, but up till now they have not called us for the distribution of products. We heard that this is because they are still undergoing the regulatory approval processes.

“So we are waiting. They have also not given us the cost of their products. When they give us the cost, of course, we are going to let you know.”

Officials of Dangote refinery, however, preferred not to comment on the issue, as they have yet to provide responses to enquiries on the matter.

Requests for comments spanning days had yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report on Wednesday.

Dangote refinery, Africa’s biggest oil giant is located at the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos, and was inaugurated on May 22, 2023. It has a 650,000 barrels per day refining capacity, making it the world’s largest single-train refinery

The facility is to produce diesel, jet fuel, Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, polypropylene, among others.

The facility aims to meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s refined petroleum needs, create jobs, and boost exports, as it sits on a massive 6,180-acre site and boasts the world’s longest subsea pipeline infrastructure (1,100km).

news credit: THE PUNCH

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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