GlobalData’s latest report indicates that global refinery crude distillation unit (CDU) capacity is expected to register significant growth over the next four years. Capacity is due to rise by 17%, increasing from 103.3 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2019 to 120.9 mmbd by 2023.

Among regions, Asia is expected to have the highest planned and announced CDU capacity of 5.6 mmbd bby 2023. This is followed by Africa and the Middle East, with 3.9 mmbd and 3.2 mmbd respectively. 

The report’s findings

Nigeria, China, and Iraq are the top three countries for planned and announced CDU capacity growth by 2023. Nigeria is expected to add 1,935 thousand barrels per day (mbd) of CDU capacity. With 32 new-build refineries, this is the highest among all the countries considered. China plans to add 1,621 mbd of CDU capacity through seven refineries by 2023, while Iraq is expected to add 1,200 mbd of CDU capacity by 2023.

Planned and Announced Refinery CDU Capacity Additions by Key Countries, 2019–2023


The Lagos I refinery in Nigeria, the Al-Zour refinery in Kuwait and the Pulau Muara Besar refinery in Brunei and Muara, are the top three upcoming refineries in terms of CDU capacity. By 2023, the Lagos I refinery will have capacity of 650 mbd. This is followed by Al-Zour with 615 mbd and Pulau Muara Besar refinery with 500 mbd.