Aliko Dangote’s $20 billion oil refinery with a daily capacity of 650,000 barrels, is set to commence operations in December.
Dangote, Africa’s richest man, shared that the refinery, situated on 2,500 hectares outside Lagos, required the construction of its own port, road, and infrastructure. In an interview with the Financial Times, he said that extensive measures were undertaken during construction, including laying enough cable to circle the globe twice and moving 65 million tonnes of sand.
Despite facing delays and surpassing the initial cost estimate of $12-14 billion, the commissioning process began in May 2023. The refinery is expected to start with 350,000 barrels a day, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) supplying up to six crude oil cargoes for the initial phase.
Dangote expressed confidence in reaching the refinery’s full capacity by the end of 2024, although the IMF remains skeptical about achieving more than a third of that by 2025. The facility, touted as the world’s largest “single train” refinery, aims to significantly reduce Nigeria’s foreign exchange spending on imported fuel.
Dangote emphasized the need for Nigeria, a major oil producer for over 50 years, to refine its own crude in substantial quantities. He also revealed plans to eventually float the refinery business as a separate company on the Lagos Stock Exchange.