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Seplat Energy In The Eyes Of Storm: The Lies, The Facts



Seplat Energy grows 2021 full-year gross profit by 128.9% to N114.2bn

By Edmond Esi

The Nigerian media space has for the past few days occupied with recurrent stories about Seplat Energy Plc, Nigeria’s leading independent energy provider that is listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

Lately, this indigenous global brand has suffered spurious, smear campaign in the media. The rate at which top line news medium in Nigeria has been publishing contentious editorial content capable of eroding the corporate goodwill, and even sink the corporate entity called Seplat Energy, leaves much to be desired. The media however, cannot be blamed, they published what was available to them due to non-response vacuum.

However, from the initial details published in most of the online and offline media, there were allegations that range from racism against the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown, who has stepped aside; there was indictment of infringement on poor governance in the organisation, there were claims of forced resignations and sacking of Nigerian staff based on discriminatory policies. Also, there was alleged enforcement of manipulative ranking scheme in the company, and there was allegation of different retirement ages for Nigerians and expatriates and other sundry claims.

The news of the deportation of the Seplat CEO Mr. Roger Brown, a British national, by the Federal Government of Nigeria, caught global attention. It has created some discomfort in the diplomatic community and is capable of stirring diplomatic row between Nigeria and United Kingdom, especially if the UK government decides to retaliate against millions of Nigerians working in their country. More so, it may affect the drive for foreign direct investment as foreigners may not want to invest or live in a country that may treat them shabbily based on frivolous charges that were not thoroughly investigated.

A part of the stories coming out also pitched Seplat against the host communities who are being alleged to be up in arms against the leading independent energy provider.

The reality now is that all the media allegations have been found to be a result of high wired boardroom brawl being climaxed strategically with media war. According to a veritable source at Seplat who craved anonymity, some disgruntled outgoing members of the board who were part of the re-organisation otherwise termed “Transformational Agenda’ jointly embarked upon after the appointment of Mr. Brown, are now fighting back when the transformational policies they created are now biting them.

These powerful forces made up of principally indigenous retired executive and non-executive directors, have managed to infiltrate the management; polarizing the system along tribal and portfolio lines.

The allegation that must have irked the Ministry of Interior the most is that Mr. Brown’s work permit is fake, expired or illegally obtained; which are not so.

When the Immigration Service were to decide on the matter, Brown was said to have deliberately absented himself despite being served invitations. Sources familiar with the case said that though the letters inviting Mr. Roger Brown by the Ministry of Interior were delivered to Seplat, but those bent on seeing Brown out of position ensured the letter never got to him. Those who know Brown said he would not have disrespected the Ministry of Interior as the situation portrays him.

There is more going on at Seplat than meets the eye. For instance, on the allegations of racism laid against Mr. Roger Brown, Seplat’s Chief Executive Officer who has been asked to step aside, his visa and work permit withdrawn, the Hon Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola was fed with pack of lies that bordered on racial discrimination and nationalism sentiment.

These disgruntled forces are ready to tear down the corporate entity called Seplat; believing that they have nothing to lose. They recruited and bank rolled some young men and women and formed them into a concerned non-governmental organisation (NGO). It is this so-called NGO they are using to push their agenda. According inside sources, part of the brief to this NGO is to awash the media with calumny campaign that will put Seplat in the public court, weep up spirit of nationalism against the firm’s top management actions and inactions, and make the firm to lose public confidence and goodwill locally and in the international community.

The campaign initially affected the value of the firm’s stock price at the London Stock Exchange but it later picked up when it became obvious that the bad press was the handiworks of people who had been consumed by the re-engineering going on in the firm.

“Most of these people were perpetrating some dubious transactions, sponsoring local contractors and suppliers who are not ready to follow due process. Our best-practice structures, uncompromising accountability policy, ethics and excellence principles will not allow us to work against acceptable global practice. That is why some people are fighting us dirty, because it is no longer business as usual.

“Mr Brown was the immediate past chief financial officer, and is aware of some of these unacceptable norms. The board and management sat when Mr. Brown became the CEO, and jointly agreed on the way forward from the old order. That is what brought out the “Transformational Agenda that is now in practice and has become a thorn in the flesh of some hitherto powerful forces”, explained an anonymous source in top management of the firm.

As the Seplat case is becoming more and more interesting, critical stakeholders within the oil and gas operative environment who have been following the developments are now coming out to say “enough is enough”. They are coming out to lay bare the facts based on their relationship with the firm and their understanding of the true situation of things.

These concerned stakeholders include: Empower Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) dedicated to the protection and enhancement of civil liberties, and, Seplat Awesome Women’s Network, SWAN, a body of Seplat women employees, and predominantly made up of Nigerian employees.

In a statement posted on Seplat social media platform, the women employee group stated that “some certain petitions to the Ministry of Interior and the courts against Brown, were false allegations and blatant lies”. For instance, SWAN explained in the post that the age retirement differences between staff engaged in England and those working in Nigeria are matters of applicable laws between Nigeria and the UK. This is one of the contentious areas. “The different retirement ages for Nigerians and foreign nationals is not discriminatory but a dictate of the law. The company explained that the practice on retirement age is driven by local laws. For instance, employees working in Nigeria – both local and expatriate retire at age 60 in line with Nigerian law while the maximum retirement age in UK private sector is 65”. Board squabbles tend to reflect the interests of board members. Sometimes external influences that want to get into or get at a company can put some of its members up to internal fights.

On the other hand, Empower Nigeria, in a statement, said it launched an investigation with the determination to get to the bottom of the issues thrown up by these allegations and in the process, unveiled the truth. According to the statement signed by the Spokesperson for Empower Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Aderemi,

“The claim of forced resignations and sacking of Nigerian staff based on discriminatory policies, was not true. As against this claim, there was no mass sack or forced retirements of Nigerians at Seplat with Roger Brown as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The true state of affairs is that between 2020 and 2022, eight Nigerian staff of the company voluntarily resigned or opted to take early retirement in the exercise of their rights as spelt out and protected by the law. Their decision was conveyed to the management of the company in writing via official channels. Seplat paid the affected staff generous end of service benefits and thereafter made appropriate notifications to NUPRC in accordance with Notification schedule as per their exit.

“Allegation of enforcement of manipulative ranking scheme was not also true. We found out that this allegation is not supported by facts but is a product of a hunting expedition. Arising from the observations and input made by the staff on the need to review the former 5-point ranking system which the staff considered to limit opportunities especially around the 75 per cent cut off mark required for promotion, management reviewed and replaced it with a 3-point ranking scheme.”

The statement further said that the aim of the 3-point scheme (Outstanding Strong and Average), was to ensure that staff rewards are tied to results which are transparent and verifiable. More importantly, it laid to rest staff complaints about the 5-point system which they believe limited opportunities for promotion.

The claim that the Average rating applied only to Nigerian staff is untrue as out of the 5% of staff (24 persons) ranked Average, includes an expatriate. This is without prejudice to the fact that expatriates constitute a small part of the entire workforce of over 500 workers in the company.

“The claim that Seplat operates different retirement age for Nigerian and expatriate staff, is an allegation that is false and a disingenuous ploy to sow seeds of discord among the staff of the company. The retirement policy of the company is not discriminatory but is based on the laws of Nigeria stipulating that all employees from Nigeria retire at 60 years. This has been the practice in Seplat since it commenced operations” Empower Nigeria stated.

The concerned NGO further averred that “given the delicate nature of these claims and its implications for industrial harmony, it is our considered position that news organisations who publicised these allegations should carry out thorough investigation to ascertain the veracity of the claims therein. This is in the interest of equity, fairness and justice. Seplat has been an exemplary player within the country’s oil sector. The current attempt to impugn its hard earned reputation is indeed regrettable”, the statement further explained.

Seplat, once prided as the best-governed and biggest Nigerian-home grown company, has 515 employees – regular and direct contract. Only 24 of these are non-Nigerians from other nationalities. This is verifiable on the company’s website. So where is the local content accusation against the CEO Mr. Brown coming from, as he was alleged to have sacked the majority of Nigerians and replaced them with Europeans and Asians? In the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) made up of 14 executives, only 4 are Foreigners. This is compliant with the Local Content Laws operative in the oil & gas industry.

Those who orchestrated this smear campaign did not stop at damning Mr. Brown, they are also out to impugn the impeccable character of the Independent Non-Executive Board Chairman Mr. Basil Omiyi.

It is foolhardy to believe Omiyi who fought hard to promote indigenous ownership and participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry, was dominated majorly by foreigners at Royal Dutch Shell where he rose through the ranks to become the first indigenous Nigerian Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, and later became the Country Chairman of Shell till 2009, will now connive with Mr. Brown to perpetrate racism against fellow Nigerians as being alleged in the media reports in circulation?.

The business of Seplat is built on an effective corporate governance framework and corporate governance standards. These standards dictate how Seplat operates as a business and how the firm is governed. Seplat owns seven oil blocks, produced 44,104 boepd (working interest) in 2022, and had 438 MMboe 2P reserves at the end of the year.




Interview: ‘At Seplat Energy We Prioritise Our People, Safety And Stakeholder Value’ – Omiyi




Rashidat Okunlade Writes

What would you attribute Seplat Energy’s very impressive 2022 full year business performance to?

Seplat Energy’s strategy is enabled by strong corporate governance and risk management, and built upon the values of safety, integrity, partnership, ambition, and agility.

In 2022, against a challenging environment of oil theft and outages on our export routes, the Company averaged 24,735 barrels of liquids a day for export and 112.3 MMscfd of processed natural gas for domestic power generation.

Also, higher global oil prices offset the impact of prolonged outages at the Forcados export route, which affected our oil exports in the third quarter of 2022. However, the long-awaited Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline finally came onstream to provide an alternative export route for our key assets.

Therefore, our cash generation was strong, as high oil prices offset lower production in 2022, depicting a huge value creation for all stakeholders.

Seplat Energy, in the 2022 business year, finalised the New Energy investment plan, and identified near-term opportunities for consideration and FID by late 2023. Can you throw more light on this?

Our New Energy investment plan is aimed at achieving a world-class capability in renewable energies, through the development or acquisition of new skillsets that open up new and profitable markets.

We have completed evaluation studies and finalised a ten-year integrated Gas and New Energy Investment Plan. Near-term opportunities we have identified in gas-to-power and solar energy will be subject to technical and business evaluation assessments, environment and social impact assessments, and project licensing, and we expect to move to FID before the end of 2023.

The key investment opportunities being considered include selective entry to off-grid power generation using gas-fired generation integrated with solar. Natural gas will be the mainstay of our energy transition programme and this, in turn, will ensure the sustainability and financial viability of the renewables programme.

We are also pursuing carbon offset possibilities on a wide range of emission reduction activities in various global carbon markets. The identified opportunities have considered advancement in technology, availability of resources within Nigeria, and feasibility of execution.

For the 2022 full year, the Board recommended a special dividend of US5.0 cents per share in addition to final dividend of US2.5 cents per share. What was the rationale behind this?

A special dividend of 5cents was declared for 2022 following elevated realized oil prices and liquidity growth in the year. Furthermore, Seplat’s liquidity projections for 2023 remain positive given current oil price expectations.

The company has maintained a strong safety culture, recording just one LTI in October 2022 while LTIF for the full year is 0.12. What did Seplat Energy do differently in 2022?

I have to reemphasize that at Seplat Energy, we prioritise safety, which is a matter of both individual and collective responsibility.

As an energy company, we work in high-risk and sometimes challenging environments which puts a premium on safety, integrity, fairness and transparency. We aim to treat all those who work for us with respect and to develop the skills of our people. We believe this approach helps us manage and mitigate risks to our business.

The safety of all our employees, contractors, and local communities is a non-negotiable feature of our business. We continued to embed HSE imperatives across our operations; furthering our goal of an incident- and injury-free workplace, we have a mandatory ‘Safety Rules’ programme which guides all our personnel and stakeholders in delivering a safe working environment for all.

For instance, during the year, we implemented an EMP for the Amukpe Buffer Storage Tanks project. The overall goal of the EMP for this project was to minimise impact of various phases of the project activities on the environment, meet statutory obligations, and ensure safety of personnel and members of the public, while maintaining the economic and corporate goals of the company.

As Chairman of the Board, what is your message to all stakeholders given the Company’s very promising future?

As we progress on our journey to a more sustainable future, Seplat Energy will continue to evolve our business to develop a low-cost, lower-carbon, profitable, resilient, and diversified portfolio that will help us thrive in the globally transiting energy market. We remain committed to providing accessible and affordable energy. To this end, our business continues to demonstrate joint consideration of our people, the planet, and profits across all our operations

Continuous engagement with stakeholders is an integral part of our day-to-day business. Their support is a fundamental component of our ability to operate. The Board and senior leadership team recognise the need to invest in our relationships with stakeholders to deliver the Company’s goals. Through regular engagements, a variety of channels, and mechanisms, the company is able to understand the views of all stakeholders and integrates them in our decision-making process. Importantly, we use stakeholder engagement to help us identify and prioritise issues most material to the business.

The ANOH Gas Processing Plant is 95% mechanically complete, awaiting third-party infrastructure completion. What will be your message to investors?

I want to assure our investors that, once completed, ANOH will deliver two income streams for Seplat Energy: from OML 53’s wet gas sales to the plant, and from dividends returned to Seplat Energy from the joint venture ANOH Gas Processing Company, which will operate the plant. The upstream development, including the drilling of six production wells, will be delivered by the upstream unit operator SPDC. We expect the drilling of ANOH-03 and ANOH-04 by SPDC to be completed in Q2 2023.

We are a trusted partner to the Nigerian Government and other operators in the region. Our ANOH gas processing plant project is classed as strategically important for Nigeria, for which we are a leading supplier of gas for domestic power.

NGIC has confirmed that they expect the OB3 pipeline to be complete before the end of Q2 2023. Line pipes for the 23km spur line are in country and project completion is almost 70%, with the revised completion date communicated by NGIC as 30 June 2023. Despite estimated completion for the pipeline infrastructure being Q2 2023, we have further risked the completion dates and have moved the first gas to the final quarter of 2023.

Can you share the company’s roadmap as a sustainable energy business following the Board of Directors’ Succession Forward Plan announced on 25 April 2023?

As a Board, succession planning is a priority. Our approach to succession planning is not that of a box ticking exercise or a ‘nice to have.’

Our Board Succession Policy provides for selection criteria which accounts for current and future needs of the Company and its stakeholders, and that promotes diversity of thought. We recognize that a diverse board is better prepared for challenges that could arise and enables the Seplat Board in its ability to leverage different perspectives and think outside of the box; as opposed to a homogeneous board, which is likely to miss out on crucial elements of expertise and experience.

When considering candidates, the following qualities and competency elements are of prime importance to us – candidates who have proven experience in leading large, complex, international organisations. Such candidates would have had – significant experience in cost leadership; ability to balance the transformational changes that Seplat needs to make against the timing of these changes, particularly as the Company implements its energy transition objectives; demonstration of ability to implement the Company’s climate change agenda; and an understanding of the energy market.

Seplat Energy has commenced implementation of a roadmap to achieving net zero by 2050. Do you want to speak to this?

Our Flares Out project, which forms part of our commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050, is on schedule to reach our target of ending routine flares by the end of 2024. In 2022, improvements in performance of the AG compressor in Oben and Amukpe, alongside regular asset integrity checks and other facility improvement activities, were effective and AG flare volume was reduced by 18.2% at Oben (5.7 MMscfd against 6.97 MMscfd in 2021) and by 39.9% at Amukpe (1.1 MMscfd against 1.83 MMscfd in 2021).

The Sapele Gas Plant (AG solution) with installed capacity of 40 MMscfd achieved mechanical completion in December. The AG solution is expected to process c.26 MMscfd and will make a significant contribution to flared gas utilisation, reducing emissions and carbon intensity.

In addition, we acquired an LDAR system at our Oben Gas Plant and trained 40 employees on use of the technology, which has enabled detection of invisible leaks and allowed our in-house O&M team to act promptly.

Our diesel replacement programme seeks to increase the use of gas, a less carbon intensive fuel for power generation and where feasible, solar power is also being considered. We are piloting solar at our Amukpe warehouse to power equipment on site and plan to power the security outposts located around our operations using solar energy in 2023.

Work is ongoing to spin out a Midstream Gas business in line with PIA provisions. Can you share the level of progress made in Seplat Energy with regards to this?

In line with the provisions of the PIA, we believe the Midstream Gas business could achieve a higher value when operated as a separate, standalone unit, independent of our Upstream business. This will unlock new value for the Company and increase returns for stakeholders. An implementation roadmap for the spin-out opportunity has been developed and the process is expected to take 12 to 18 months, subject to regulatory approval and stakeholder engagement.

We will continue to align our business to the new strategy that was announced in mid-2021, advancing the development of the Pillar 2 Midstream Gas business and making the necessary decisions to realise the spin-off of the gas business from the Pillar 1 Upstream business.

Also, the Power & New Energy team developed a long-term business plan for the Pillar 3 Power & New Energy Business. Both initiatives will drive long-term prosperity for Seplat Energy and all its stakeholders as we diversify and transition towards producing energy in multiple forms and for a much wider customer base both at home and abroad.

Beyond our existing Midstream Gas business, we are looking at ways to combine gas with power generation, including from renewables, and in the longer term look to develop new lines of business for gas, such as bottled gas for domestic or automotive use.




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Dangote Refinery Will Generate $21billion, To Employ Over 100,000 Youths



Dangote Refinery Will Generate $21billion, To Employ Over 100,000 Youths

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Amid encomium from eminent personalities, which included President Mohammadu Buhari and five other African heads of state, President of the pan-African Conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote disclosed yesterday that the newly commissioned 650,000pbd refinery would employ over 100,000 Nigerians youths as well as generate over $21 billion, therefore saving the country huge forex, that would have been used for fuel importation. The company, according to him, now has over 33,000 employees.

Much to the excitement of Nigerians, Dangote said the commissioning has marked the beginning of the new journey of self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products and exportation of the same just as been achieved in Cement and lately fertilizer.

Dangote lamented that the current fuel crisis has had negative impact on the nation’s economy and that informed his decision to build a world-class refinery that would change the trend and that though faced challenges but decided to trudge on.

He highlighted events leading to his firm deciding to build its own refinery after his attempt to acquire one of the existing moribunds did not materialize noting that he decided to change marketing strategy and settle for gigantic projects ever undertaken by an individual world over.

Dangote Refinery Will Generate $21billion, To Employ Over 100,000 Youths

Left-Right: Senate President, Sen. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan; Vice President-Elect, Sen. Kashim Shettima; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, at the commissioning of Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals FZE, (650,000 barrels per day Petroleum Refining and 900,000 tonnes per annum Polypropylene Production) in Lagos on Monday, May 22, 2023.

According to him, the refinery plant would be run at the highest effective and efficient level for maximum benefits to all Nigerians noting “We will replicate what we achieved in cement and fertilizer by attaining self-sufficiency and becoming a net exporter.

Dangote assured Nigerians that 40 per cent of the production capacity will be available for export with the coming on stream of the plant guaranteeing raw materials for plastic, and pharmaceutical industries.

In his remark, President Buhari congratulated Dangote Group, saying “the 650,000 barrels a day of crude which will enable our country to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and even have some supplies for export saying the government and people of Nigeria are proud of the doggedness and tenacity of Dangote as entrepreneur.

Said he; “This feat at this time of the nation’s economic development clearly made this event a notable milestone for our economy and the game changer for the downstream petroleum products not only for Nigeria but the entire African continent. Dangote Group has helped transform our economy from heavy import dependence to a net exporter in some critical industries, including cement and Fertiliser.”

He noted that the economy which has been stressed for many decades by huge deficits in economic infrastructure and over a decade of insurgency has also been severely impacted by several external crises, including the global financial crisis, the collapse of world crisis the Coronavirus pandemic and the Russia Ukraine war.

“The consequences of these challenges constitute a severe strain on our economy and limiting government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to borrowing. Government therefore decide to focus attention on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and fill the enormous gap in investments not only in infrastructure, but also in all critical sectors.

“We recognize that without active participation of the private sector and a strong commitment to public-private partnership, the economy will not be able to continue to meet the challenge and economic growth”, while expressing the hope that the coming administration will continue to apply such innovative schemes to accelerate the fruition of critical infrastructure, in particular roads and gas pipelines.

Dangote Refinery Will Generate $21billion, To Employ Over 100,000 Youths

Left-Right: President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum; President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, at the commissioning of Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals FZE, (650,000 barrels per day Petroleum Refining and 900,000 tonnes per annum Polypropylene Production) in Lagos on Monday, May 22, 2023.

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele while commending Mr. Dangote for the successful completion of the refinery project said it would not only aid that nation’s domestic petrol needs, but also help in generating export revenues for our country.

Emefiele recalled; “In September 2013, when Alhaji Aliko Dangote announced his plans for the refinery, it was estimated to cost about US$9 billion, of which US$3 billion was projected as equity investment by the Dangote Group and the balance financed through commercial loans. Due to an array of factors, the project was eventually completed with a total of US$18.5 billion with funding distributed into 50 percent equity investment and 50 percent debt finance. I am proud to state that the commercial loan component of the project was financed majorly by our domestic banks with the balance sourced from foreign banks. The Central Bank of Nigeria also partnered, as always, with the Dangote Group in ensuring the successful completion of the project by providing about N125 billion, to cover domestic currency requirements for the venture.

“What you may not be fully aware of, Your Excellencies, is that the Dangote Group has started repaying some of the commercial loans even before the commissioning of this facility. This reflects the commercial capability of the Group and its Chairman. I am pleased to inform everyone today that, following extensive repayments, outstanding debt has dropped appreciably from over US$9 billion to US$3 billion.”

The CBN Governor commended Nigerian banks saying they did not only partnered with the project through effective financing but were keenly aware of the importance of the project for our nation. “They provided immense support and exceptional understanding, even when interest payments and principal repayment had fallen due.”

He described the successful completion of the refinery to President Buhari’s astute vision to ensure that Nigeria produces what Nigerians consume and that we consume what we produce. “The refinery and petrochemical project by the Dangote Group is a testament to your vision for Nigeria. It shows that, regardless of what the world thinks, Nigeria can be self-sufficient in all products that we consume and at the same time export our excess output to the rest of the world.”

“Aside from enumerating our strategic efforts in agriculture and other critical sectors, a sterling project that we highlighted was the gigantic Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical project. The world doubted our willpower to succeed with this project. In hindsight, I could appreciate their skepticism because they do not understand how a single individual could build a refinery capable of serving an entire nation. To them, projects of this magnitude are usually only undertaken by sovereigns, not individuals.”

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC), Mele Kolo Kyari said the NNPC was happy to partner with Dangote Refinery because the project has the potential for smooth supply of petroleum and it would guarantee healthy competition for the benefit of the nation’s economy.

He said the NNPC Ltd. was committed to value addition to the potentials of the project noting that the new Petroleum Industry Act will provide security of supply of refined products and protect the plant. The NNPC boss added that he was happy the refinery is coming on board at a time the subsidy on imported products has become unbearable for the government.

In their respective goodwill messages, Presidents of Ghana, Senegal, Niger, Benin Republic, and Chad expressed satisfaction that the Dangote Refinery will serve the West African region and that their countries would be beneficiaries saying the Dangote Refiner is an African company for Africa by an African entrepreneur.


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Buhari, 5 African Presidents To Commission Dangote Petroleum Refinery Today



Dangote Petroleum Refinery Inauguration Venue: Dangote Industries Free Zone Development Company (DIFZDC), Lekki Coastal Road, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Coverage: Live on Group Date: May 22, 2023

Rashidat Okunlade Writes


In an epoch-making event that will positively transform Nigeria’s oil and gas sectoral landscape, President Muhammadu Buhari will today commission Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals, the world’s largest single train refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos; alongside his counterparts from Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Niger, and Chad.


Promoted by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, the petroleum refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) is sitting on 2,635 hectares of land located in Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, and will provide employment to over 100,000 persons. The coming onstream of the gigantic project is expected to mark Nigeria’s exit from the league of oil-rich nations that are heavy importers of petroleum products.


Expected at the historic event apart from international dignitaries are the Presidents of Togo, Gnassingbé Eyadéma; Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, President of Chad, Mahamat Déby and a host of ambassadors


President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who will not be physically present, will present his goodwill message virtually.


As at the time of filing this report, all the 36 state governors and most of the governors-elect, ministers, senators, and captains of industries in Nigeria and others from outside the country, global oil traders, top international bankers, international multilateral agencies have indicated their readiness to grace the ceremony.


Nigeria’s President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose administration as the governor of Lagos in 2002 floated the Free Trade Zone in Ibeju-Lekki where the Refinery is located, is expected to be at the event.


The commissioning of Dangote Petroleum Refinery is significant given that it is the first time that a refinery of such magnitude built by an individual is being commissioned.


Dangote’s petroleum refinery is expected to meet the needs of Nigerian consumers and those in neighboring countries while allowing for exports beyond the African continent. The refinery will drive the promotion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as over 50 countries in the trade bloc depend on imported refined petroleum products.


According to the Facts Sheet on Dangote Petroleum Refinery, the new Refinery can meet 100% of the Nigerian requirement for all refined products (Gasoline, 53 million litres per day; Diesel, 34 million litres per day; Kerosene, 10 million litres per day, and Aviation Jet, 2 million litres per day) and also have surplus of each of these products for export.


“The refinery is designed for 100% Nigerian Crude with flexibility to process other crudes. It has self-sufficient marine facility with ability for freight optimisation, and the largest single order of 5 SPMs anywhere in the world. Diesel and Gasoline Products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications.


“The refinery design complies with World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms. State-of-the-art technology. Designed to process large variety of crudes including many of the African Crudes, some of the Middle Eastern Crudes and the US Light Tight Oil,” the Facts sheet added.


It also stated: “65 Million Cubic Metres of sand dredged costing approximately Euros 300 million, using the world’s largest, the second largest and the tenth largest dredgers to elevate the height by 1.5 metres, to insure against any potential impact of the increase in mean sea level due to global warming. Bought over 1,209 units of various equipment to enhance the local capacity for site works.


“332 cranes to build up equipment installation capacity. Built the world’s largest granite quarry to supply coarse aggregate, stone column material, stone base, stone dust & material for breakwater. (10 million tonnes per year production capacity).


“Developed a port and constructed two quays with a load-bearing capacity of 25 tonnes/ sq metres to bring Over Dimensional Cargoes close to the site directly. The company also constructed two more quays in the port with a capacity to handle up to Panamax vessels to export fertilizer and petrochemicals and two quays to handle liquid cargoes. The port will thus have 6 quays, including a Roll-on/Roll-off quay”, the sheet added.


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