By Celestine Ajayi
After several postponements, the $2 billion Dangote Granulated Urea Fertiliser Plant located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, has been scheduled to begin operations next week.
Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group made this disclosure while leading Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on a tour of the Lekki Free Trade Zone and Dangote Petrochemical Refinery Facilities on Saturday.
The billionaire businessman also disclosed that the refinery plant will be completed later this year and production will commence in the first quarter of 2022.
The fertiliser plant has a name-plate annual capacity of three million tons of urea and ammonia making it the largest in the world.
It is also being constructed in the Lekki Free Trade Zone area which houses other plants and factories including the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery and Lekki Port.
This makes Nigeria the only urea exporting country in Sub-Saharan Africa, both the fertiliser and petrochemicals plants are capable of generating $2.5 billion annually.
Recall that the attempt of the plant to begin operations on several occasions had been abortive. Prior to this, the Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, had previously disclosed that the plant would commence operations in December 2020.
Mr. Anthony Chiejina, in his statement, had said, “The granulated Urea fertilizer plant project will be ready for take-off before the end of December. The pre-testing has already been done and the delay in starting operations was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The take-off of the fertilizer plant, which is reputed to be the largest in the world, with its 3 million tonnes per annum capacity, had suffered some setbacks with the opening date leading to its postponement a few times.