Dangote Group’s fertilizer plant, which is still under construction in Lagos will be ready for production next year according to Saipem SpA, the builders. It is one of the many massive investments of Mr Aliko Dangote, Africa’s riches man.
The facility located in the Lekki area of Lagos State and has a name-plate capacity of three million tons a year of urea and ammonia, making it the world’s biggest. It is in the vicinity of 650,000 barrels a day Dangote oil refinery, which is also under construction. Test run started at the plant in March, though hampered by the disruptions that came with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said Maurizio Coratella, chief operating officer of Saipem SpA.
“We are picking up now that things are looking more stable and are currently very well advanced,” Coratella said Wednesday in an interview. “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 to meet the completion deadline, he said. Saipem’s operations in Nigeria, where it’s 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 West African country, it expects a 430-megawatt power plant being built for Eni SpA in the southern 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.