How Dangote Refinery Exposed Nigeria’s Shipping Inadequacies


Checks by the Nigerian Tribune has revealed that no single Nigerian shipping company participated in the six crude oil delivery process that took place at the $19.5bn Dangote Petro-chemicals Refinery located in Lagos.

This is even as further findings revealed that Nigeria lost out due to the very large sizes of ships used in the delivery of crude oil products to the Dangote Refinery.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in an exclusive interview at the weekend, the President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mallam Aminu Umar explained that six different ships loaded crude products to the Dangote Refinery, with none owned or operating from Nigeria.

According to Mallam Aminu Umar, “There were two deliveries at the Dangote Refinery; the first was the test-running stage where Gas oil was brought in to flush and power the system; while the second stage was the Crude oil delivery stage where Crude oil products were brought in.

“My shipping company was one of the two companies that delivered the Gas oil that was used to flush and power the system at the Dangote Refinery. The Gas oil that we supplied was used in test-running and flushing the system at the Dangote Refinery. Our company was the only local shipping firm that participated in this process while the second company was an internationally owned shipping company.

“After the system was flushed, the refinery took delivery of six Crude oil products, but no Nigerian company participated in that stage. This is because currently, Nigeria does not have the kind of ships that were used to bring in Crude oil products to the Dangote Refinery.

“Six shipping companies brought in Crude oil products to the Dangote Refinery, and only one of them was from an African country; Angola to be precise. The other five were foreign shipping companies from outside Africa. No Nigerian currently has the size of vessels that were used to move Crude oil products to the Dangote Refinery. I am talking of vessels called Suez Max.

“A Suez Max is a type of vessel that can load a million barrel of Crude oil products which is equivalent to 150,000 deadweight vessels. As at today, there is no Nigerian that has a 150,000-deadweight vessel trading in crude oil.

“We were the only indigenous shipping company that participated in the first stage while there was no Nigerian company that participated in the second stage.”

On expectations of indigenous participation in the evacuation of Crude oil products out of the Dangote Refinery, the NCS President expressed optimism that more local players should get involved when the Diesel and Aviation products being produced needs to be shipped out.

“Now that the refinery has started processing Crude oil products and Diesel alongside Aviation Fuel, products are expected to be ready anytime soon. We at the Chamber of Shipping expects more indigenous ship-owners and investors to get involved in the evacuation of these products out of the Dangote Refinery.

“We are very excited that this is happening at this time in Nigeria. We congratulate Alhaji Aliko Dangote for making this a reality. On the next stage of operations which will include the logistic chain of how crude oil products will be shipped out of the refinery, we expect local investors to be more involved.

“Nigerian ship owners should be very excited because this will open-up a lot of opportunities for local investors to invest and participate in. indigenous ship-owners should look forward to participating in the evacuation of finished products from the refinery.” The Chamber of Shipping President told the Nigerian Tribune exclusively in Lagos.

Recall that the $19.5bn Dangote Refinery took delivery of its sixth batch of one million Agbami barrels of crude oil products supplied by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) last Monday, to complete the scheduled six million barrels consignment delivered to the Lekki based refinery needed to commence operations.

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