Aliko Dangote, Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, gestures after signing a factory construction contract with Sinoma International Engineering Co. Ltd. in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Dangote Cement has expanded capacity five-fold in the last four years as the company invested outside its home market. Photographer: Tom Saater/Bloomberg
Dangote Group’s $2bn fertilizer plant will be production in February 2021, Saipem SpA, the plant’s manufacturer said Friday.
The fertilizer plant is part of the multi-billion-dollar construction being undertaken by the Dangote Group in Lekki, Lagos.
The fertilizer plant has an annual capacity of three million tons of urea and ammonia, making it the world’s biggest.
Classic International reports that the group is also constructing the Dangote Crude Oil refinery, a 650, 000 barrels per day plant within the same complex that is expected to create thousands of jobs and wean the country of importation of petroleum products.
The test run of the fertilizer plant was done in March, though the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the process.
Maurizio Coratella, Chief Operating Officer of Saipem SpA, in an interview with Bloomberg said: “We are picking up now that things are looking more stable and are currently very well advanced. We are in the commissioning stage of the first train; for the second, we will have that commissioning in six to seven months’ time.”
Saipem is making special arrangements, including setting up dedicated flights for vendors and suppliers to enable it meet the completion deadline, he said.
Saipem’s operations in Nigeria, where it has been in business for more than 50 years, span several industries including oil, gas and power.
Among its four major construction contracts currently running in the country, it expects a 430-megawatt power plant being built for Eni SpA in the Niger Delta region to start operating within weeks.
The company is among bidders for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Bonga offshore oil-field expansion and is also in the early stages of revamping state-owned refineries in the oil-industry centers of Warri and Port Harcourt, Coratella said.
Four refineries with a combined capacity for 445, 000 barrel of crude run by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are shut for refurbishment and only due back to production in 2023.
Saipem is among three joint ventures that bid for engineering work for Qatar’s liquefied natural gas expansion project. The firm and its partners who won a $4 billion contract to build Nigerian LNG Ltd.’s train 7 project, is eyeing “big LNG” and petrochemical projects in Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Russia, Coratella said.
“In terms of opportunities, most of them have been delayed to 2021,” he said.
The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, had said Nigeria would be able to save $500 million from import substitution and provide $400 million from exports of products from the fertilizer plant.
“The supply of fertilizer from the plant will be enough for the Nigerian market and neighbouring countries.
“I am happy that by the time our plant is fully commissioned, the country will become self-sufficient in fertilizer production and even have the capacity to export the products to other African countries.
Right now, farmers are forced to utilise whatever fertilizer is available, as they have no choice , “But we need to know that the fertilizer that will work in one state may not be suitable in another state, as they may not have the same soil type and composition. The same fertilizer you use for sorghum may not be the fertilizer you will use for sugar cane,” Edwin had explained.