More facts have emerged that the commencement date for the Dangote refinery may be delayed. This indication was given recently by Group Executive Director of the refinery Devakumar Edwin.

The $14 billion refinery had earlier been projected to fully commence its operations by the first quarter of 2020. That, however, may no longer be feasible as Edwin disclosed that there are challenges that may see the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery commence operations not earlier than the end of 2020.

The GED said, “We will be able to complete the project by the end of next year – mechanical completion.”

According to him, the development was 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.

Recall that the Dangote Refinery, which was said to have the capacity to transform Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil producer into a net exporter of petroleum products, was projected to go into fuel production after two months of completion.

Prior to the new development, business magnate, 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, Dangote had said he expected the technical work on the refinery to be completed by the end of 2019, and actual operation to commence in 2020.

He also promised Nigerians, especially the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, that the refinery would start operation in 2019.

Meanwhile, Dangote was said to be determined in scaling through the huddles in order to fulfil his commitment to making Nigeria a net oil exporter.

Dangote explained that he had to build a new jetty to handle the delivery of heavy equipment needed to complete the project as Nigerian ports were not built to handle mega projects like the Dangote refinery.

He added that because of the environment in which the refinery was being built, he had to construct 138 kilometres of road within the area to ease the movement of equipment.

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