It seems such a long time ago now that Angola and South Africa presented the cases for large scale refinery investment, in their respective countries, at the World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg.
South Africa, host of the 2005 event, was the flavour of the month at the time; 11 years after its first democratic elections. Angola was on a full throttle, with first oil from the first of its several, newly discovered, deepwater fields, gushing out, increasing its output to historic highs.
18 years later, the South African dream has been crumpled by the procrastination of the state. But Angola has pushed on, continuing to figure a way out and in the next 24 months, it will have over 75,000BPSD addition to its in-country refining capacity.
The “building”, as they say, “is taking shape”.
Nine years ago, Aliko Dangote, a private entity, announced the decision to construct a 650,000BPD refinery, larger than the sizes of the Lobito and Mbotho refineries combined. And everyone, it seems, is now complaining that the mammoth facility is not yet completed. We haven’t even given him due credit for delivering a 1Million Tonne Per Annum (1MMTPA) fertilizer complex, mopping up 180MMscf/d of Nigerian gas, en route to commissioning of the refinery.
The refining boom has come a tad late for the continent. It is 20 years to the end of the fossil fuel era. But the struggle, as they say, continues.
Welcome to the REFINING GAP ANNUAL 2023, our tenth yearly look at refining opportunities.
Our special story in this issue is on the mini-refining landscape, titled: Nigeria: Thinking Big about Small Things. Read it here.
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