*As production starts 2020, not 2019 proposed by govt
11 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Investors of the $12 billion Dangote Refinery should be counting their losses by now, as the torrent of heavy rainfall this year has wreaked yet another havoc on the project, making such occurrence the second after that of last year.
The President, Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, during an interview with Bloomberg TV, had revealed, although not deeply, the damages incurred on the project due to this year’s heavy rainfalls.
He said: “We will finish the mechanical [part] by the end of 2019 if hopefully, we don’t have the same rain because of the rainy season this year… Climate change is real. We have had devastating damage to what we are doing at the site. But anyway, we have recovered a bit, and we are pushing”.
SweetcrudeReports had in July 2017, reported how the refinery was shut down due to rainfalls which led to flooding.
Our source had hinted that the water was “so much” that it reached waist level and workers could barely find their way around the site.
“Both the mechanical and civil workshops were flooded. The workers were unable to gain entrance into the site. In fact, it was terrible because machines worth millions were damaged, and properties lost” our source had said, adding that workers were eventually asked to go home until the water dried up.
It would be recalled that Dangote, in August, said he had incurred more than $4.5billion in debt financing for the refinery project.
According to him, lenders would commit about $3.15billion, with the World Bank’s private sector arm providing $150million.
He, however, said that he was investing more than 60 percent from his own cash flow.
In the same vein, it is now official that the refinery will start producing fuel by 2020 and not first quarter of 2019 as being canvased for by the minister of states for petroleum resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu on behalf of the federal government, according to Dangote. The refinery should start producing fuel in the first quarter of 2020 and at full capacity within the six months.
Mr. Kachukwu had raised the hope of Nigerians to access to more and cheaper fuel when severally, he said FG was in talks with Dangote and had promised to hasten up things latest first quarter of 2019.
“It is a huge refinery; it is the largest single line refinery in the world. We will start production by the end of the first quarter of 2020. We will ramp up very quickly; it is a high-tech refinery,” Dangote told the Bloomberg interviewer.
With the rain having dealt heavy blows on the refinery twice now, there is a spread of worry it could affect both the timeline already set for the project, plus additional costs, further hiking price of fuel which would be bored by the masses, as the FG no longer subsidizes prices of petroleum products.
As a matter of fact, FG is yet to offset the outstanding N130.7 billion fuel subsidy debt to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN.