Dangote Refinery Construction Update


Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, made a fortune as the head of an industrial conglomerate selling things like cement, sugar and pasta.

But it’s the energy business where his attention now lies and the eponymous refinery that will turn Dangote into a household name in oil circles.

When complete, the Dangote Refinery in Nigeria will have a daily capacity of 650,000 barrels of crude, making it one of the world’s largest refineries.

The refinery is supposed to open in 2020. Given its size and location, the impact on the market can’t be overstated.

Nigeria, a major crude exporter, will consume more of its crude at home. The start-up of Dangote will also reduce Nigeria’s reliance on foreign suppliers for refined products.

There are currently four refineries located in Nigeria, but they’re only operating at 5.5% of capacity because of ongoing renovations and usually don’t exceed 25%.

A significant refinery, like Dangote, will alter crude and refined products flows in West Africa (WAF). That will have a spillover effect, as WAF exports head to Europe, Asia and North America.

But first, crews must finish building the refinery complex, which can be a long and messy process.

Finding reliable and timely information on the project’s status isn’t easy, an issue that isn’t unique to Dangote.

At Ursa, we’re helping clients stay informed by monitoring key infrastructure projects, such as pipelines and refineries, around the world, including the Dangote Refinery, using satellite imagery.

Figure 1 shows an overview of the Dangote Refinery complex.


Figure 1
(June 3, 2019)
Satellite imagery: Planet SkySat; Map illustration/annotation: Ursa

Our experienced analysts interpret this imagery to make sense of what’s happening on the ground and provide a forecasted completion date.

 Readers will find out if the project is ahead- or behind-schedule, allowing them to better estimate the impact on global and regional oil markets.

 Click here to learn more about our infrastructure monitoring products.

 In this blog, we include some of our findings about the Dangote Refinery contained in our latest report.

The Dangote Refinery project is located in Nigeria’s Lekki Free Trade Zone. Crude oil will arrive via pipeline from the Niger Delta.

In addition to the refinery, the complex will also house a fertilizer plant. Chevron Nigeria will supply the natural gas under a long-term agreement.

The fertilizer plant is almost finished, allowing the focus of construction to shift to the refinery and tank storage.

In the area where the refinery is being built, heavy machinery and cranes are present showing this is an active site.

Crews are working on storage tanks, pipelines and unit trains. Figure 2 shows the status of storage tanks.


Figure 2
(June 3, 2019)
Satellite imagery: Planet SkySat; Map illustration/annotation: Ursa

One barometer of construction progress is activity in the sections of the complex where materials are stored.

Over the last few months, lots in the southwest corner have been depleted and replenished, indicating increased pace of construction (Figure 3).



Figure 3
(June 3, 2019)
Satellite imagery: Planet SkySat; Map illustration/annotation: Ursa

We’ll keep monitoring Dangote through its completion stages, and plan to incorporate on-site inventory measurements into our global oil storage product.

The satellite imagery and information in this blog are part of what subscribers receive. If you’re interested in receiving the full report — which includes our estimate of likely completion date – please let us know.

Contact us by email (sales@ursaspace.com) or sign up here for a free evaluation.




Live count of Ursa Space’s SAR + Optical imagery/data catalog

Learn more about our imagery as a service.