Sapele (səpāˈlē) [key], city (1991 est. pop. 123,000), S Nigeria, a port in the Niger delta. The center of the Nigerian timber industry, Sapele has sawmills and a large plywood and veneer factory; rubber is processed there, and plastics, chemicals, and shoes are manufactured. After the British established a vice consulate in the city in 1892, Sapele grew in importance as a port; in 1894 it came under British rule and served as a local administrative center.