Marketers await Dangote fuel, four weeks after production take-off

Oil marketers, on Monday, declared that they were still awaiting the supply of refined petroleum products from the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery, four weeks after the launch of production at the multi-billion dollar plant.

On January 12, 2024, Dangote refinery announced that it had commenced the production of Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, and aviation fuel or JetA1.

The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, in a statement issued by his firm at the time, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.

Dangote also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NMDPRA and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project, as he revealed that the facility would pump out diesel and aviation fuel in January, subject to regulatory approvals.

He said, “We thank President Bola Tinubu for his support and for making our dream come true. This production, as witnessed today, would not have been possible without his visionary leadership and prompt attention to details.

“His intervention at various stages cleared all impediments thereby accelerating the actualisation of the project. We also thank the NNPC, NUPRC and NMDPRA  for their support. These organisations have been our dependable partners in this historic journey.

“We also thank Nigerians for their belief and support in this project. We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals.”

The firm had also registered independent and major oil marketers to start lifting products from the plant, but operators in the sector stated on Monday that nothing of such had commenced yet.

“They have not called us up till now,” the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Maigandi, stated when contacted on Monday.

He added, “However, we are still optimistic that they will call us to come and start lifting products. It is when we start loading that we can talk about the price and others.

“So for now we are awaiting their call and we assure Nigerians that once we start loading products from there, it is going to get to the over 30,000 filling stations operated by IPMAN members across the country.”

On February 8, 2024, The PUNCH reported that lingering regulatory approvals may have stalled the refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market in January.

Multiple sources at both the Abuja headquarters and Lagos regional office of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the regulator of Nigeria’s midstream and downstream oil sector, had confirmed that the process for the release of regulatory approvals was still ongoing at the time.

“Definitely before any release of products is made, approvals must have been granted and this is being worked. The appropriate department is working out the approvals.

“We cannot tell you exactly what these approvals consist of. But the fact is that for Dangote refinery to release products, the requisite approvals must be granted, because the regulator needs to look at the quality of the products, whether they (products) meet specifications, etc, before they are being released to the market.

“So the approvals are being worked on. However, I cannot give you the date when it is going to be completed, but just know that the process is ongoing and I’ll brief you on an updated position,” an official, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated.

Also, oil marketers told our correspondent that they had yet to receive the commercial terms for the supply of products from the facility, stressing that this was still being awaited.

“The commercial terms are still being sorted out and we are expecting that information from the refinery as well,” the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Major Energies’ Marketers Association of Nigeria, Clement Isong, stated

Meanwhile, speaking on the visible queues in parts of Abuja and neighbouring states on Monday, Maigandi attributed it to supply challenges in the downstream oil sector.

“There is not a serious problem, it is just the issue of supply. The product is available. We independent petroleum marketers, up till now we are still negotiating with NNPC to start getting our direct allocation.

“This is because even if there is product at the depots, when marketers can’t go there and load, it is a problem. So we are looking for a situation where they will start giving use products directly.

“Currently we load from private depot owners and part of NNPC Retail and at times this constitutes supply hitches that lead to queues at filling stations in many parts of the country,” the IPMAN president stated.

He told our correspondent that the queues in Abuja and other parts of the country would clear in few days, stressing that marketers were loading products from depots.

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