Fire Incident at Africa’s Largest Refinery

Last Wednesday, a “minor fire” occurred at the Dangote Refinery, Africa’s newest and largest refinery. Footage from the site revealed smoke and flames emerging from one section of the facility. However, the operator stated that the incident did not cause any significant disruption.

“We have swiftly contained a minor fire incident at our effluent treatment plant,” communications officer Anthony Chiejina said in a statement. “There is no cause for alarm as the refinery is operating and there is no recorded injury or body harm [sic] to any of our staff on duty.”

The refinery, a $20 billion project funded by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, began production in January and is currently in the commissioning and ramp-up phase. Once fully operational, the 650,000 bpd complex will be the largest refinery in Africa and Europe.

This project aims to address one of Nigeria’s significant economic challenges. Despite being rich in oil and gas, Nigeria has had to export its crude oil and import refined products due to insufficient domestic refining capacity. The country’s four state-owned refineries have a poor performance record, with an average capacity utilization of just 15 percent, according to a study by Lizabetha Agbakahi of the University of Dundee. Additionally, Nigeria loses an estimated $3-5 billion annually in oil revenue due to theft and corruption, which limits the available state financing to invest in refining infrastructure despite the country’s large oil sales.

Image credit: Daily Post Nigeria