Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market in January appears to have been delayed by unfinished business with regulatory authorities.
According to The PUNCH, the largest refinery in Africa is still struggling to get through the several levels of regulatory permissions, one week after the management set a deadline of January 31 for the refinery to start selling its petroleum product on the local market.
This occurred over a month after the refinery started producing petroleum products at the large plant.
The Dangote refinery declared on January 12, 2024, that it had started producing aviation fuel and automotive petrol oil, also known as diesel.
On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, it was announced that the facility was still not producing aviation fuel or diesel, which caused operators in the downstream industry and Nigerian consumers to wait anxiously.
The $20 billion Dangote Petroleum Refinery produced refined products that were eagerly anticipated by big and independent oil marketers, despite the project missing its January 2024 fuel release target.
However, several representatives from oil and gas industry regulatory bodies said on Wednesday that the facility still needed to finish the various steps of its regulatory procedures.
Before granting regulatory authorization for the items’ release onto the market, it was learned that representatives of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority were still evaluating the products being produced by the plant.
The NMDPRA, which regulates Nigeria’s midstream and downstream oil industry, has multiple sources at both its Abuja headquarters and its Lagos regional office who attest to the fact that the process of releasing regulatory clearances is still in progress.
“Approvals must undoubtedly be obtained before any product releases, and this is being worked on and being processed by the relevant department.
“We are unable to provide you with a detailed list of these approvals. However, in order for the Dangote refinery to release goods, the necessary approvals must be given because the regulator must inspect the goods to ensure that they are of a suitable quality and that they comply with all requirements before allowing them to be sold,” said an official who begged not to be identified because they lacked authorization.
On January 15, 2024, The PUNCH published a story stating that the seven largest Nigerian oil marketers had registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery to lift and distribute refined petroleum products made at the $20 billion facility.
According to the article, dealers operating under the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria affirmed that, upon registration, they would start distributing fuel produced at the plant as soon as the business arrangements were worked out.
It went on to say that the Dangote refinery management was consulted on product loading conditions by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
According to the Petroleum goods Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN has been supplying goods from the multibillion-dollar refinery through management agreements.
The seven largest marketers—11 Plc, NNPC retail, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, and Total Nigeria Plc—were listed in the report.
According to IPMAN’s National President, Abubakar Maigandi, independent merchants were still awaiting word from the facility’s administration.
“We are still expecting products from them, but they haven’t called us for product distribution yet,” he stated. We have been informed that this is the result of them still going through the regulatory approval procedures.
However, as they had not yet responded to inquiries about the topic, Dangote refinery officials chose not to comment.