Ahead of its planned inauguration, Dangote Fertiliser Limited has announced the commencement of pre-testing works on its $2 billion Granulated Urea Fertiliser complex located in the Dangote Free Zone in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.
The fertilizer with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum is adjudged to the biggest project in the fertiliser industry.
Siapem of Italy is the Engineering, Procurement and Supervision (EP) Contractor for the project, while Tata Consulting Engineers, India, is the Project Management Consultants (PMC).
Ahead of the commissioning, several critical sections of the plant are going through various stages of pre-commissioning and test-run, while all the sections of the plant, including the central control room, ammonia and urea bulk storage, cooling tower, power generator plant, granulation plant, have all been completed and are going through pre-testing. Already, the Feritiser plant has started receiving gas supply from the Nigerian Gas Company and Chevron Nigeria Limited under its earlier signed gas sales purchase agreement to supply 70 million standard cubic feet per day (Scf/d) of natural gas per day.
The project, which is targeted at creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs in construction and related fields, will provide a major boost to the agricultural sector by significantly reducing the importation of fertiliser in Nigeria and ultimately removing the need for imports when plant is in full production. Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said Nigeria will be able to save $0.5 billion from import substitution and provide $0.4 billion from exports of products from the fertiliser plant. “Thus, the supply of fertiliser from the plant will be enough for the Nigerian market and neighboring countries,” he said.
“I am happy that by the time our plant is fully commissioned, the country will become self sufficient in fertiliser production and even have the capacity to export the products to other African countries. Right now, farmers are forced to utilise whatever fertiliser that is available as they have no choice, but we need to know that the fertiliser 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 fertiliser you use for sorghum may not be the fertiliser you will use for sugar cane.”
He stated that the three million tonnes per annum capacity Dangote fertiliser project, which is estimated to gulp $2billion is the largest granulated Urea fertiliser complex to emerge in the global fertiliser industry.
He pointed out that the fertiliser complex, which is sited on a 500 hectares of land has the capacity to expand as it is only occupying a small fraction of the allotted portion.
Edwin added: “The management of the complex are confident that the fertiliser business will deliver reasonable profit to the company and its shareholders as it is projected that population growth and the need for food production will jack up the consumption of Urea fertiliser beginning from 2020 when production of the production would have commenced in earnest.