October 29, 2019 / 4:59 PM / 23 days ago

Nigeria's Dangote refinery to rely on ports, roads for fuel deliveries

LAGOS, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Africa’s largest oil refinery will deliver its fuels to Nigerian consumers via roads and sea ports and will effectively replace all of Nigeria’s fuel imports once fully operational, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The 650,000 barrel per day Dangote oil refinery is under construction in Lagos, the biggest city in the most fuel-consuming nation in the region.

But congested ports and dilapidated roads led some to expect that the company would build a pipeline or other method of getting its fuel to consumers.

Dangote Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin told an OTL (Oil Trading and Logistics) Expo in Lagos that fuels would go via “shuttle” boats to Nigerian cities Warri and Calabar, and that other deliveries would go in trucks.

Dangote itself is fixing and expanding one of the current roads to Lekki - an area adjacent to Lagos’s financial and business district - Edwin said, while the Lagos state government will build another toll road to aid shipments.

“That’s going to reduce a lot of congestion,” Edwin said of their plans.

He said the refinery would virtually eliminate fuel imports from other regions, adding “those who are importing today...they can buy from our refinery”.

The company previously told Reuters that the refinery’s mechanical completion was delayed until 2020, though industry sources told Reuters last year that fuel output was unlikely before 2022.

The refinery is also constructing facilities that will allow it to export its diesel, gasoline and other fuels to markets including Europe and Latin America aboard vessels as large as suezmax tankers.

It is also designed to be able to produce diesel that meets European winter standards, and will be high quality enough to go to any market.

“We can export the product all over the world. So there is no need for us to (blindly) compete with the local production,” Edwin said. (Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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