THE Federal government, yesterday, confirmed the planned inauguration of the 650,000 barrels per day, bpd Dangote Refinery on May 2023.
The company had indicated that the $19 billion plant will be inaugurated before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
However, in his tweet, Special Assistant to the President on Digital Communications, Bashir Ahmad, who confirmed the development, stated: “Efforts by the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in local refining of crude oil to save the scarce foreign exchange used in the importation of petroleum products have received a boost as the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery, the world’s largest single-train refinery, is set for inauguration on May 22nd, 2023, by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
A source close to the plant said the company was putting the finishing touches for the inauguration, adding operations will be built up in phases.
The National President of Independent Marketers Association (IPMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, could not be reached for comments, yesterday.
But in a telephone interview with Vanguard, the National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, said: “We just got to know about it. Our members are ready to buy and sell petroleum products from the Refinery anytime it becomes operational.”
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have applauded Dangote Petroleum Refinery for its application of world-class technology in the construction of the 650,000 barrels per day refinery project.
The SPE and NCDMB, which visited the plant recently, believed that it has the capacity to boost Nigeria’s domestic production.
Speaking after the tour of the refinery and petrochemical project, the National Chairman of SPE, Prof. Olalekan Olafuyi, said: “We have heard before about Dangote Petroleum Refinery and have also seen that the project is for real. After touring the refinery, we are amazed by the level of work that has already been done and we are eagerly waiting for its completion. We are happy with what we have seen. Dangote is doing a great job with the construction of a world-class petroleum refinery. It is remarkable that a Nigerian company is building a world-class project.”
Also, speaking at the event, the Director of Planning Research & Statistics, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, Patrick Obah stated: “It is awesome that this kind of project is happening here in Nigeria. For the first time, I saw a tank that could hold 120 million liters of liquid at the Dangote Petroleum Refinery plant. We are indeed happy that we have this kind of facility here in Nigeria.
“The visit is very enriching for members of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Nigerian Content Board. There is no doubt that the project gives inspiration to all visitors who come on a tour of the refinery. The refinery plant gives a lot of hope to Nigerians. It is important for us to grow local capacity that will be able to fit into the energy demand of tomorrow.”