Dangote plans one million-litre diesel sale to each marketer

The $20bn worth Dangote Petroleum Refinery has commenced the sale of Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, to oil marketers nationwide.

Dealers and officials of the plant confirmed this on Tuesday, as it was gathered that the refinery commenced diesel sales last week.

“They started pumping out diesel to marketers since last week. They also promised to sell aviation fuel soon. Some of my members confirmed this to me after making purchase,” the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Maigandi, told our correspondent.

He said the move by Dangote would lead to a crash in diesel prices, as the commodity rose to a high of about N1,700/litre recently.

“The price of diesel is going to fall because of the release of products from Dangote Refinery. In fact, it is already coming down in Lagos,” Maigandi stated.

A senior management official of the firm confirmed the sale of diesel to marketers, as the source noted that Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would soon be released to the market.

The Dangote Refinery has faced a series of hurdles as it strives to release refined products into the market after it was officially inaugurated by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.

On February 8, 2024, The PUNCH reported that indications emerged that lingering regulatory approvals stalled Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel (Jet A1) and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market in January.

The report stated that weeks after the January 31 timeline set by the management of Africa’s largest refinery to begin the sale of its petroleum product in the local market, the refinery was still battling to cross the hurdles of the several layers of regulatory approvals.

It stated that the development came after the refinery began the production of refined petroleum products at the expansive facility.

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.

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 detail.

“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 refinery, Africa’s largest with a nameplate capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, was built on a peninsula on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos.

Nigeria has for years relied on expensive imports for nearly all the fuel it consumes but the $20bn refinery is set to turn it into a net exporter of fuel to other West African countries, in a huge potential shift of power and profit dynamics in the industry.

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