DANGOTE Fertiliser Limited has started countdown to the inauguration of its $2 billion granulated urea fertiliser complex located in the Dangote Free Zone.
Several critical sections of the plant are already going through various stages of pre-commissioning and test-run.
Virtually all the sections of the plant such as 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.
The fertiliser plant has also started receiving gas supply from the Nigerian Gas Company and Chevron Nigeria Limited under the Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement to supply 70 million standard cubic feet per day (Scf/d) of natural gas to Dangote Fertiliser Limited.
With a capacity of three million tons per annum, the plant has been classified as the biggest project in the entire fertiliser industry in the world.
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) for the project.
Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said Nigeria will be able to save $0.5billion from import substitution and provide $0.4 billion from exports of products from the new fertiliser plant.
“Thus, the supply of fertiliser from the plant will be enough for the Nigerian market and neighbouring countries,” he said.
Edwin said by the time the plant is fully commissioned, Nigeria will become self-sufficient in fertiliser production and even have the capacity to export the products to other African countries.
According to him, farmers are, at present, being 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.
“This is because 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 said.
Edwin stated that the Dangotefertiliser project, which is estimated to gulp $2billion, is the largest granulated Urea fertiliser complex to emerge in the entire fertiliser industry history in the world, with its three million tonnes per annum capacity.
He pointed out that the fertiliser complex, which is sited on 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 would have commenced in earnest.