Nigeria will account for half of Africa’s crude distillation unit (CDU) growth over the next four years, according to GlobalData.

The market intelligence firm’s latest report shows the country is expected to have new-build CDU capacity of 1.9 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) by 2023, the most of any country on the continent.

Angola ranks as the second highest contributor to the CDU capacity growth, ahead of South Africa, with a new-build capacity of 598mbd by 2023, with 198mbd of that likely to come from planned CDUs and 400mbd from early-stage announced CDUs.

The country’s Tabi refinery accounts for the highest single capacity among all the CDUs, and is expected to start operations by 2023, accounting for 67% of its planned capacity additions over the coming years.

GlobalData’s oil and gas analyst Varun Ette said: “In Nigeria, 32 planned and announced CDU refineries are expected to start operations during 2019 to 2023.

“Of these, Lagos I has the highest CDU capacity of 650 thousand barrels per day, with the Lagos I refinery expected to start operations in 2021.”

“South Africa, meanwhile, is the third highest contributor to the CDU capacity growth in Africa.

“The country is expected to witness entire CDU capacity additions from one refinery, Mthombo, which is expected to start operations in 2022 with a CDU capacity of 400mbd.


Shell in hot water over crude oil operations in Nigeria

Shell, one of the largest contributors to the booming crude capacity of Nigeria, was dealt a blow by the UK’s Supreme Court towards the end of July.

The UK’s highest court ruled in favour of allowing 40,000 members of the Ogale and Bille communities of Nigeria to bring legal action on British soil against the company for allegedly causing pollution in various parts of the Niger Delta.

The groundwork for the decision, which it is argued will provide the claimants with greater access to justice along with a no-win-no-fee arrangement, was laid by the landmark Vedanta case in April this year.

On that occasion, law firm Leigh Day, which is also representing the Nigerians against Shell, was successful in securing a similar ruling from the Supreme Court to allow 2,000 Zambian villagers to sue the miner for allegedly contaminating the area surrounding the Nchanga Copper mine.

Leigh Day partner Daniel Leader said: “We are delighted to have been granted permission to take this case against Shell to the Supreme Court.

“We hope that the Court will apply the principles set out in the Vedanta judgment to this case and allow this case to proceed in London.

“We believe the era of corporate impunity is drawing to a close – it is no longer acceptable for companies to make billions out of developing world resources whilst causing devastating damage to the environment and local communities.”

King Okpabi, the ruler of the Ogale Community, added: “The English Courts are our only hope because we cannot get justice in Nigeria.

“So let this be a landmark case – I will not run away from my responsibility to defend the people of Ogale against one of the largest corporations in the world which treats us with contempt.”