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Nigeria’s new Dangote refinery to export first fuel cargoes

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Tuesday, February 13th, 2024
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Nigeria’s Dangote oil refinery has issued tenders to sell two fuel cargoes for export, the first from the newly commissioned refinery, trading sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The refinery, Africa’s largest with a nameplate capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, was built on a peninsula on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos by the continent’s richest man Aliko Dangote. Nigeria has for years relied on expensive imports for nearly all the fuel it consumes but the $20 billion refinery is set to turn it into a net exporter of fuel to other West African countries, in a huge potential shift of power and profit dynamics in the industry.

Dangote declined a Reuters request for comment. The first cargo is 65,000 metric tons of low-sulphur straight run fuel oil, which Dangote has awarded to Trafigura and is due to load at the end of February, three of the sources said. Trafigura declined to comment. At least one refiner said they had been offered the cargo by Trafigura without elaborating further. The second tender is for about 60,000 tons of naphtha, three other sources said. Two of them added that the tender closes on Feb. 15. Loading details were not immediately available.

Sources told Reuters last week that the refinery was preparing to deliver its first fuel cargoes to the domestic market within weeks. The two fuels on offer are typical products of running light sweet crude through a crude distillation unit (CDU) in a refinery without further upgrading capacity. It is expected to take months for upgrading units to be brought online, experts have said. The refiner began buying crude in December last year and Nigeria’s state-owned oil firm NNPC Ltd has been the main supplier. Dangote has also purchased some U.S. oil and is expected to receive 2 million barrels of U.S. WTI Midland in early March, according to LSEG and Kpler ship tracking.

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