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FACT CHECK: Is the Dangote refinery the largest single-train refinery in the world?



CLAIM: While speaking at a recent event in Lagos, the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Kashim Shettima, said the Dangote refinery is the largest single-train refinery in the world.



Shettima made the claim at a banquet organised by the Lagos State government in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was in the country’s Centre of Excellence on a two-day visit to commission legacy projects, including the Imota Rice Mill, the Lekki Deep Seaport, and the 18.75 kilometres Eleko-Epe rigid pavement six-lane expressway.

Shettima while giving his address showered encomium on his principal and former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, stressing that the latter laid the foundation for the rapid infrastructural development in the state. He said Tinubu’s successors were only following his template, which, he added, was why Lagos was on the path to economic self-sufficiency.

The former governor of Borno State made a series of claims, concerning the wealth of Lagos and the infrastructural investment by Dangote in the state.

Amongst other claims, he stated that the $25 billion Dangote refinery is the “largest single-train refinery in the world”.

The Dangote Refinery complex, which is located in the Lekki Free Zone area of Lagos, covers a land area of approximately 2,635 hectares, which, Shettima rightly noted, is larger than the size of Victoria Island in Lagos. The refinery, according to the Dangote Group, has the capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day.

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A single-train refinery refers to the use of only one crude distillation unit (CDU), unlike most big refineries that use multiple distillation units to refine crude oil into various products. However, the single-train uses one integrated distillation unit.

It is indeed the biggest refinery in Africa and one of the biggest in the world, based on its production capacity, but whether it will operate to its full capacity is a question that will be answered when it begins operation in mid-2023, as disclosed by the company.

By its production capacity, findings by Ripples Nigeria show that it will indeed be the biggest single-train refinery in the world. Notable media platforms confirmed this claim. Also, browsing through Click here , a repository of global refineries, showed that the current biggest single-train refinery is the Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery (SAMREF), which is jointly owned by Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil.

In an article on the ExxonMobil corporate website, SAMREF is described as “the world’s largest single-train crude oil refineries”. This feature was also noted on a page on the official website of SAMREF. However, SAMREF has a production capacity of 400,000 barrels per day. So, the Dangote refinery with 650,000 bpd surpasses it.


The Dangote refinery with a production capacity of 650,000 bpd, and a fertilizer plan that is expected to produce over 3 million metric tons of fertilizer, will be the largest single-train refinery in the world, when it commences operation.

By: Oluwatobi Odeyinka

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