TOP REFINERIES IN AFRICA

SKIKDA REFINERY – 356,500 BARRELS PER DAY

The largest oil refinery in Africa is the Skikda refinery, located along Algeria’s northern coastline, with a nameplate capacity of 356,500 BPD. Owned and operated by the country’s state-owned oil company, Sonatrach, the refinery is supplied with crude oil from the Hassi Messaoud oilfields. 

PORT HARCOURT REFINERY – 210,000 BARRELS PER DAY

Nigeria’s Port Harcourt refinery, a 210,000-BPD refinery complex, comprises two refineries located at Alesa-Eleme, RiversState. Operated by the Port Harcourt Refining Company – a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – the refinery is currently the country’s largest operating refinery. 

SAPREF REFINERY – 180,000 BARRELS PER DAY

South Africa’s SAPREF refinery, a 50:50 joint venture between BP and Shell, is the largest crude oil refinery in southern Africa, boasting 180,000 BPD capacity. Located in the city of Durban, the refinery accounts for approximately 35% of the country’s entire refining capacity. 

ALEXANDRIA MIDOR REFINERY – 160,000 BARRELS PER DAY

The Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR), owned by a consortium comprising the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, ENPPI, PETROJET, and Suez Canal Bank, is located in Alexandria, Egypt. The project is currently undergoing an expansion that will bring its existing 100,000 BPD capacity up by 60%, to 160,000 BPD, making it the fifth-largest in Africa and largest in Africa. 

CAIRO MOSTOROD REFINERY – 142,000 BARRELS PER DAY

Egypt’s current largest oil refinery, the Cairo Mostorod refinery, is located in Mostorod, Qalyubia Governate and operated by the Egyptian Refining Company. Officially inaugurated in September 2020, the $4.3 billion refineries is the sixth-largest in Africa by capacity. 

EL NASR REFINERY – 132,000 BARRELS PER DAY

With a nameplate capacity of 132,000 BPD, Egypt’s El Nasr refinery is owned and operated by Nasr Oil. The refinery is the second largest in Egypt and contributes significantly to the country’s targeted energy independence, further positioning Egypt as a leading refining market.

WARRI REFINERY – 125,000 BARRELS PER DAY

The Warri refinery, located in Warri, Nigeria, is the country’s first Nigerian government wholly-owned refinery. With an initial capacity of 100,000 BPD, later debottlenecked to produce 125,000 BPD of crude oil, the Warri refinery is the eighth largest in Africa and has positioned Nigeria as a West African downstream leader. 

ZAWIYAH REFINERY – 120,000 BARRELS PER DAY

The Zawiyah refinery is Libya’s second-largest crude oil refinery, located approximately 40km west of the capital city, Tripoli. Operated by the Zawia Oil Refining Company, the refinery has a distillation capacity of 6,000 tons per year and production of 120,000 BPD, consolidating its position as the ninth largest in Africa by capacity. 

ALEXANDRIA EL MEX REFINERY – 117,000 BARRELS PER DAY

Egypt’s Alexandria El Mex facility is a crude oil refinery wholly owned by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. With a maximum refining capacity of 117,000 BPD, the refinery was built to meet domestic needs, while exporting approximately 20% of its production. 

ASTRON ENERGY CAPE TOWN REFINERY – 100,000 BARRELS PER DAY

Located in Milnerton, Cape Town, the Astron Energy owned and operated Cape Town refinery has a nameplate refining capacity of 100,000 BPD. It is currently the third-largest refinery in South Africa, however, with the upcoming closure and conversion of Engen’s 125,000 BPD refinery, will become the second-largest in the country and the tenth in Africa. 

HONORARY MENTIONS

In addition to the existing crude oil refineries across the continent, many countries have launched new large-scale refinery projects to accelerate production and create viable, competitive downstream markets. The following are just some of the largest, by capacity:

DANGOTE REFINERY – 650,000 BARRELS PER DAY

Located near Lagos in Nigeria, the Dangote refinery will be Africa’s largest oil refinery with an incredible capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (BPD). Forming part of the petrochemical complex, the Dangote refinery will significantly reduce fuel imports, supplying the West African region with refined products. Scheduled for commissioning next year, the $19-billion refinery will be transformative for both the region and Africa. 

LOBITO REFINERY – 200,000 BARRELS PER DAY

The massive Lobito Refinery has been in the works for over two decades, as the oil giant seeks to boost its refining capacity and reduce associated costs of fuel imports, on which it spent $1.7 billion in 2019 alone. Located on 150 hectares approximately 8-km north of the coastal city of Lobito in Angola, the project site is uniquely strategic, boasting extensive port facilities that enable export to the wider region. Upon completion, the refinery will process 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil into high-quality gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, illuminant oil and liquefied petroleum gas, among other petroleum derivatives – making it the fourth-largest refinery by volume on the continent.

WALTERSMITH– 5,000 BARRELS PER DAY

The Waltersmith refinery located in Imo state is the biggest commissioned modular refinery in Nigeria. The African refinery project is being developed in phases by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of Nigeria-based Waltersmith Petromen Oil. Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is a joint-venture between Waltersmith Petroman Oil (70%) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (30%).
The phase one refinery development with an initial capacity of 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day (bpd) started operations in November 2020. The facility will be expanded in phases to reach a total capacity of 50,000bpd.