$2bn fertilizer plant ready in December
The management of Dangote Group has disclosed that its biggest project, the Dangote Refinery, in Lekki, Lagos is now at 80 per cent capacity level completion. The $11 billion petrochemical plant will receive its first refining product in the last quarter of 2021. Also, the management noted that its $2 billion fertiliser plant was fully ready for commissioning and that the first stage of three million tons urea production was expected this month.
Disclosing this to journalists yesterday in Lagos, the Executive Director, Strategy Capital Project & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industry Limited, Edwin Devakumar, said that the construction of the $11 billion Dangote Petrochemical Refinery was going as planned despite the emergence of coronavirus pandemic that hit global trade and economy.
He said that the refinery project was nearing com-missioning process with about 80 per cent of overall work completed, including the engineering designs, which is 100 per cent completed, and procurement at about 98 per cent. Devakumar explained that the only core activities going on at the Dangote Refinery site was construction works, which is at 60 per cent capacity level.
He admitted that COVID- 19 did not affect the refinery project per se, but only affected the countries where the equipment are being shipped in to the country. According to him, Dangote Group is committed to complete the assembly plants and also start commencement of the refinery commissioning by mid-next year in line with its 2021 coming on stream target for official business operations.
He said: “On the percentage completion of our refinery, if you look at the overall completion of the project, we are at 80 per cent. But that overall also includes engineering and designs, which is 100 per cent. But procurement is about 98 per cent completion.
“But the core activity, which is ongoing, is construction. So if you look at it exclusively, in construction, we have finished 60 per cent of construction. But overall, completion is 80 per cent.” Speaking on the COVID- 19 crisis, Devakumar said: “Our refinery project was ongoing and we had the impact of coronavirus because many of the countries where the equipment are being manufactured were affected.
“Now, we hope to complete everything and fix them, including assembling. We will be ready by mid-next year and then we will start commencement of commissioning process. And it’s a huge refinery project where it will take three or four months for commissioning. Then, the product will start coming into the market. “So by last quarter of next year, we should have our product in the Nigerian market. That is our target for the refinery.
“Talking of the fertilizer plant, actually, the commissioning has started. I hope by the grace of God, we will have the product coming this month, so that is the preparations.” On the report of protest in the refinery plant, he said there was no protest but an industrial action staged by outsourced workers of Dangote’s subcontractors and not original staff of the company or its direct contractors. According to him, about 20,000 people work at the re-inery and fertiliser plants daily and it was just only about 200 sub-contractors that went on strike.
He said that the President/ Chief Executive of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had disclosed that his multi-billion dollar investments in all key sectors of the Nigerian economy were geared towards transforming Nigeria’s economy for the better and value addition.
He explained that Dangote’s involvement in key sectors of the economy such as power and energy, oil and gas, cement, agriculture, railway, automobiles, road construction, foods and beverages, transportation and others was meant to vividly create job opportunities for Nigerian teeming youths in the country in line with the Federal Government’s diversification agenda to reduce unemployment rate in the system.