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Dangote Refinery Accuses International Oil Companies of Sabotage Plot

Dangote

Dangote Refinery Indicts NMDPRA Over Importation of Dirty Diesel and Jet Fuel

Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of plotting to cripple the refinery’s operations. Edwin claims that the IOCs are deliberately hindering the refinery’s efforts to purchase local crude by inflating premium prices above market rates, forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, leading to increased costs.

During a one-day training program for journalists in Lagos, Edwin also criticized the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for granting licenses to marketers to import substandard refined products into the country.

He stated, “The Federal Government issued 25 licenses to build refineries, and we are the only one that delivered on our promise. We deserve every support from the Government. From the start of production, more than 3.5 billion liters, representing 90% of our production, have been exported. We call on the Federal Government and regulators to support us in creating jobs and prosperity for the nation.”

Edwin noted that while the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is attempting to allocate crude for the refinery, the IOCs are deliberately frustrating efforts to purchase local crude. He recalled that the NUPRC recently met with crude oil producers and refinery owners in Nigeria to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations (DCSO) under Section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He added, “The IOCs’ objective seems to be to ensure our Petroleum Refinery fails. They either demand absurd premiums or claim that crude is unavailable. At one point, we paid $6 above the market price. This has forced us to reduce output and import crude from the US, increasing our production costs. The IOCs aim to ensure Nigeria remains a country that exports crude oil and imports refined petroleum products.”

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Edwin criticized the continued issuance of import licenses, which he claims undermines the economy and health of Nigerians by exposing them to carcinogenic products. Despite the refinery producing diesel that complies with ECOWAS regulations and standards, large quantities of high-sulfur diesel from Russia are being imported and dumped in the Nigerian market.

He pointed out that the US, EU, and UK imposed a price cap scheme on Russian petroleum products in February 2023, leading to vessels waiting near Togo with Russian ultra-high sulfur diesel destined for Nigeria. European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have recently banned the export of such fuel due to its carcinogenic effects, yet Nigeria continues to grant import licenses for these products.

In May, Belgium and the Netherlands adopted new quality standards to halt the export of low-quality fuels to West Africa, aligning their standards with those of the European Union. These measures specifically target diesel and petrol with high sulfur and chemical content. Historically, these fuels were exported at reduced rates to countries like Nigeria.

Belgium’s Minister of Environment, Zakia Khattabi, announced that her country, following the Netherlands, banned the export of low-quality petrol and diesel to West Africa to prevent carcinogenic effects and poor air quality. Public Eye, an international organization, revealed that toxic fuels were being exported on a large scale from the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam to African markets, containing sulfur and other pollutants far exceeding European limits.

The NMDPRA’s decision to grant licenses for the importation of dirty diesel and aviation fuel has prompted Dangote Refinery to expand into foreign markets, recently exporting diesel and aviation fuel to Europe and other regions. Edwin appealed to the Federal Government and National Assembly for speedy implementation of the PIA to protect Nigeria’s interests, noting that Ghana has banned the importation of highly contaminated diesel and PMS through legislation.

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Edwin emphasized, “It is regrettable that Nigeria continues to grant import licenses despite our capacity to produce nearly double the required amount of products and export the surplus. Since January 2021, ECOWAS regulations have prohibited the import of highly contaminated diesel into the region.”

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