Regulatory approval delays prevent Dangote refinery from selling jet fuel and diesel

PLANS for the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery to commence the immediate sale of aviation fuel and diesel across Nigeria have been delayed once more by lingering regulatory approval disputes between the authorities and the company.


On January 12, 2024, the Dangote refinery announced that it had commenced the production of automotive gas oil, popularly called diesel and aviation fuel. Plans were then hatched to begin selling both products on January 31 but over a week after the passing of the deadline, neither of them is on the market yet.


Apparently, the refinery is still battling to cross the hurdles of the several layers of regulatory approvals to the frustration of its management. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the chairman of the Dangote Group, had thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.


He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority for their support and belief in the historic project. Alhaji Dangote revealed that the facility would pump out diesel and aviation fuel in January, subject to regulatory approvals.


However, the plant is yet to pump out diesel or aviation fuel and the country anxiously waits for production to start, especially operators in the downstream sector and consumers. Oil marketers are keenly waiting for the sale of refined products from the $20bn Dangote refinery, so they can supply their customers.


Officials of regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector revealed, however, that the Dangote facility had yet to complete the various stages of its regulatory processes. Apparently, officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority were still assessing the products being produced by the plant before it issues regulatory approvals for the products’ to be releases into the market.


One official said: “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 meet specifications, etc, before they are released to the market. 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."


Oil marketers are also yet to receive the commercial terms for the supply of products from the refinery, stressing that this was still being awaited. On January 15, 2024 seven major oil marketers in Nigeria registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.