USTDA, UOP to Develop Human Resources for Dangote Refinery


Chris Uba
The Dangote Oil Refining Company, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and UOP, a division of Honeywell International, Incorporated have commenced a training programme for the development of critical human talents necessary to operate and maintain a petroleum refinery of the magnitude of Dangote Refinery.

The training, which kicked off at the Dangote Academy, Ikeja, Lagos, involves intensive training of 50 Dangote company engineers. The training programme is designed to focus on refining processes and engineering, as well as on health, safety and environmental skills.
The Dangote Refinery would be a major step towards reducing dependence on imported fuels and petrochemicals in Nigeria.

When completed, the refinery, one of Africa’s largest industrial conglomerates, would create significant economies of scale and support jobs creation in both Nigeria and the continent.

The Dangote Refinery had acquired technology and personnel from all over the world and collaborated with many international institutions. Incorporating technology from the US, Europe, Asia and Australia, the Dangote refinery is a global endeavour and demonstration of world-class project preparation, planning, collaboration and implementation of high-quality infrastructure.

UOP, a division of Honeywell International, Inc., was awarded a contract to provide critical equipment, technology licensing, and design services. This includes several UOP-proprietary processes and packaged equipment.

The proprietary specialist equipment includes catalyst regeneration and dryer regeneration control systems, high-performance column trays, and heat exchanger tubes. The packaged equipment includes a modular CCR unit, catalyst coolers, a third-stage separator system for the RFCC units (which upgrades heavy oil), and two pressure-swing adsorption units (PSA) to purify hydrogen.

Speaking at the kick-off of the training, Director Human Asset Management & Project support, DORC, Mohan Kumar, said the programme was very important for the refinery operation.

“The training will enable the employees understand the refinery, how it works, the type of technology in the refinery and how it operates,” he said.
Director Refinery Operations, DORC, George Nicolaides, said the training was necessary to prepare the employees for the operation of the refinery.

“The employees are the present and future of the Dangote Refinery. The employees are carefully selected young engineers that will be part of the people to start the refinery operation.
“We expect that within a few years they will be able to take up major roles in running of the refinery operation.”

Director Business Strategy & Optimisation, Srinivas Rachakonda said: “These employees have gone through refinery training. They have seen instrumentation and now this training will enable them understand how technology works.”

Head Learning & Development, DORC, Dr. Ebele Oputa stated: “For such a high-tech project, investment in getting the right quality of human capital to run the plant is considered to be possibly the most critical success factor for the multi-billion-dollar project. We are therefore most grateful for the assistance from the USTDA towards the training of some of the operators needed to successfully operate and maintain our 650,000 bpd capacity refinery at Lekki.”