Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Complex, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

The Dangote Refinery Complex located in Lekki Free Zone (LFZ), Lekki, Lagos consists of three different projects:
  • The Refinery and Petrochemical Plant
  • Fertilizer plant
  • Gas Pipelines & Plant

The Engineering, Procurement and Construction, EPC, Contract for the Fertilizer Plant was awarded to Saipem of Italy. For the refinery project the award of Basic Engineering Design and Optimization has been made to UOP, of the Honeywell Group of USA, and award of Project Management Consultancy has been made to Engineers India Ltd, a Government of India Undertaking. Dangote Refinery will be the largest privately owned refinery in Africa.

The Refinery
Dangote Refinery is the largest single train refinery in the world, with capacity of 650,000 BOPD, and can produce 59 million litres of gasoline (petrol), 20 million litres of aviation fuel/ kerosene, 29 million litres of diesel per day. The refinery complex is being developed on a 2,635ha site on the Lekki Free Zone near the Lekki Lagoon, along the coast of Atlantic Ocean.The refinery is expected to be mechanically completed in 2020, and come on stream by 2021. By comparion, the total demand for petroleum products in Nigeria as at 2014 is 48 million litres of gasoline, 8 million litres of kerosene, and 9 million litres of diesel per day, produced from an input of 411,000 BOPD. Hence, the Dangote refinery will produce more than the current requirements and supply of petroleum products in Nigeria.

The processing facilities for the Dangote refinery include a crude distillation unit (CDU) and associated facilities, a mild hydrocracking (MHC) unit, a residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) unit, a naphtha hydrotreater, and a gasoline hydrodesulfurisation (HDS) unit as well as alkylation units.The refinery complex will also house sulphur recovery and hydrogen generation facilities and a polypropylene unit. Comprising two steam methane reformer (SMR) units, the hydrogen generation facility will generate 200,000Nm³/h of hydrogen and steam to produce sulphur-free fuels.

The other processing units at the refinery include the STRATCO® alkylation unit, the MECS® sulphuric acid regeneration (SAR) unit, the MECS® DynaWave® sulphur recovery unit, and the BELCO® EDV® fluid catalytic cracking unit.

The refinery is designed to process Nigerian crude mix, African crude mix, Arab Light and some American crude. Hence, flexibility is built into the crude input, to minimize risks that may occur due to disruptions in Nigerian crude supply. Hence the refinery can handle not only sweet light crude, but also sour crude and heavier crude. 2 crude oil Single Point Mooring (SPM) buoys to be located within the deep sea  will be used for unloading crude oil from ships ranging from Aframax to Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC).

In terms of sales, the petroleum products from the  refinery is expected to supply both the domestic and international markets, hence 3 product SPM buoys, also to be located within the deep sea  were designed to allow for evacuation of products to SUEZMAX vessels (tankers) to deliver to international markets, in addition to facilities provided to evacuate by road. Both the road and sea evacuation facilities are designed to be 75% each of the production capacity. The SPMs can be also used to supply other parts of Nigeria including Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar via shuttle tankers. Some other marine-based projects related to the refinery project includes 2 x 48’ subsea crude pipelines with interconnections,  4 x 24” subsea products pipelines, and about 120 km subsea pipelines. The refinery products are also designed to meet Euro V grade, which is the highest standard in the world, hence they can be exported to any part of the world. The integrated refinery and petrochemical plant is expected to produce about 1 million tonnes of polypropylene in addition to the petroleum products.

The refinery plant is expected to cost about $12 billion, and is expected to yield about $5.5 billion per annum of foreign exchange (forex) earnings from export, and $7.5 billion per annum of forex savings through import substitution to the Nigerian economy.

The major contractors / OEMs engaged on the project are:
  •  Engineers India - EPC contractor for the project; 
  •  Honeywell UOP - supply of catalyst regeneration and dryer regeneration control systems, column trays, heat exchanger tubes, a modular CCR unit, and catalyst coolers among other equipment; 
  • C&I Leasing -  transportation and installation services for mooring systems and subsea pipelines of the refinery.
  • Hang Xiao Steel Structure Company  - provision of steel structure for the refinery.
  • Jan De Nul Group - land reclamation works.
  • MAN Diesel & Turbo -  supply of two compressor trains
  • Air Liquide Engineering & Construction  - supply of the SMR units.
  • Fabtech - 18 columns 
  • Schneider Electric  - process automation systems
  • SOFEC (Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring buoys), and 
  • WABAG - raw water treatment plant.

The Fertilizer Plant
The fertilizer plant consists of twin train, with each single train having a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of Urea and Ammonia which makes each of them the largest train available in the world. Hence the total capacity of the plant is 3 million tonnes per annum, and it sits on an area of 500 hectares. The test run of the completed fertilizer plant was done in February 2020. Operations at its new $2 billion granulated urea fertiliser plant at Ibeju-Lekki would begin in May 2020. The fertiliser plant would make Nigeria the only urea exporting country in sub-Saharan Africa and biggest producer of polyethene, which is capable of generating $2.5 billion annually.

The feedstock for the fertilizer plant is expected to be sourced from part of the gases from the twin 550km plant also being constructed by Dangote. However, if the gas pipelines is not ready by the time the fertilizer plant is commissioned, the gas being currently supplied by NGC to the Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi State will be diverted for its use, and the cement plant will be powered by coal. The plant is expected to cost about $2 billion.

The gas plant will be supplied by two parallel 550Km gas pipelines, with the first phase 550km pipeline expected to start delivering gas by 2018. The subsea pipelines will create a corridor for evacuation of trapped gas from offshore platforms in Nigeria to allow their monetization. Most of the associated gases produced offshore in Nigeria are currently being re-injected or flared. Hence the Dangote strategy is to serve as a transporter only, transporter and processor, or buyer for the producers of the gases. The gas pipeline will run from Bonny through Olokonla to Lekki in Lagos. The gas to be processed will be treated at the Gas Processing Plant which will also be located within the Dangote Refinery Complex.  The gas plant can generate about 12,000 Mega Watts of electricity, more than what the nation requires, hence the excess will be exported to neighbouring countries.
The pipelines can handle up to 3 billion standard cubit feet (3 Bscf/d) of gas per day which is about the same volume currently exported by Nigeria, and three times the volume supplied to the domestic market now. It is also noteworthy that the current gas requirement to meet the power needs of the country is 2 Bscf/d. The gas pipelines will cost about $3 billion.

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