8 February 2018

Nigeria: Dangote Trains Indigenous Engineers for 650,000bpd Refinery Operation

The Management of Dangote Oil Refinery Company (DORC) has embarked on training indigenous engineers to manage and operate the 650,000 barrels per refinery and petrochemical plan due for commissioning in 2019.The company has so far trained about 150 engineers in different section of refinery operation and more trainer are going to be sent abroad for training before June this year.

The company's Director of Human Capital Management and Project Support, Mohan Kumar, who made this disclosure in Lagos at the media briefing on Monday, while presenting the 22 engineers who returned from Mumbai India for to the management of the company.He said the young engineers were trained at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. in India on how to manage the operations of the refinery.He added that the engineers had gathered fundamental practical knowledge about refinery.

According to him, the engineers are recruited and trained to witness the building of the refinery from scratch. He said the engineers spent two months in classroom training and three months on the job training.Kumar explained that the 22 engineers were trained by experts who had over 45 years experience in refinery operations, stressing that the training became imperative due to the commitment of Dangote Group to promote local content by developing indigenous capacity.He added that "the engineers are expected to also transfer the skills acquired to other Nigerians when the refinery takes off.

"The 22 engineers arrived from Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Mumbai in India, where the last set of 150 employees trained in various areas of petroleum and petrochemical refining."Kumar noted that another set of 600 engineers would be sent for training before the end of April.

The Technical consultant to Aliko Dangote on refinery and petrochemical projects, Babajide Soyode, said there were plans to recruit about 900 engineers in preparation for take off of the Dangote refineries project.Soyode said the training exercise began in 2015 when first batch of 50 engineers were sent to India for the training after which another batch of 30 engineers were sent for similar training while another batch of 30 engineers would be going in March, with another 30 scheduled to attend in April.

These are aside additional 50 being planned for such training by Dangote Petrochemical (Fertilizer) plant.Meanwhile the Dangote Group says it plans to commence growing and processing of tomatoes in Katsina, with the establishment of a 10,000-hectare tomato farm in the state.Speaking yesterday, an Executive Director with the conglomerate, Mansir Ahmed, said a tomato processing plant covering 2,000 hectares would also be established.

Ahmed, who spoke while presenting Governor Aminu Bello Masari with maps and layouts of the proposed tomato farm and processing plant, said these will be established within the second quarter of the year.He said the farm and plant would be established close to the Zobe Dam in Dutsinma council area, adding that the project's commencement would depend on the federal and state governments' approval for the dam and land use, respectively. He said the tomato farm would be divided into three sections of about 3,500 hectares each, with the crop to be rotated on each plot to check pests and related infection on the tomatoes.

Aminu also said other crops like soya beans would be planted on the land, while the company was also considering investing in commercial ranching and production of dairy products.He said the company had gone round parts of the state in the last one year, and decided to invest in the agriculture sector, even as he called on government to lease the Songhai farm to the company to use as a training facility.

In his response however, Governor Masari decried the challenge that could be faced when relocating farmers' owning farmlands on the intended project site.

He also said the forest area close to proposed site had been encroached upon over the years, and that consideration must be given to cattle routes when setting up the farm and plant.The state government and representatives of the company however went into a closed door meeting afterward, with a view to addressing the issues raised by the governor.

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