By Innocent Orok
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is expected to supply four crude oil cargoes from its February programme to the $20bn Dangote refinery.
Dangote refinery, which is poised to begin operations after years of construction delays, is to get the crude oil cargoes next month from NNPCL, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
What will be Africa’s biggest refinery has said it could begin test runs as early as this week, adding that it has received six initial crude cargoes.
Nigeria, a strong member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently relies on imports for most of the fuel it consumes.
Dangote’s Group Executive Director for Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Edwin Devakumar, said the company did not request cargoes from NNPC for January.
“We are starting the refinery and if we continue to line up cargoes our inventory will build up as well as costs,” he said. “If everything goes well, we will run for 8-10 days of operation then we will begin to line up cargoes.”
The refinery is also looking at crude supplies from other countries, he said without disclosing further detail.
Initial processing capacity is expected to reach 350,000bpd, with the aim of ramping up to full capacity by the end of the year, Dangote said.