...By Babatunde Lucas for TDPel Media.
President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside five African Presidents, commissioned the Dangote Petroleum Refinery situated in Lagos State’s Ibeju-Lekki area.
With a production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, the $19 billion refinery is set to revolutionize crude oil refining in Africa and drive the transformation of Nigeria’s oil sector.
A Decade in the Making:
The inauguration of this monumental project comes ten years after Africa’s wealthiest businessman, Aliko Dangote, unveiled plans for the refinery in September 2013, securing approximately $3.3 billion in financing for its realization.
First Petroleum Products Expected in July:
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, expressed that the refinery will supply its initial tranche of petroleum products to the market before the end of July.
The project, costing $19 billion, is Africa’s largest oil refinery and the world’s largest single-train facility.
Job Creation and Milestone for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector:
Dangote emphasized that the combined refinery and petrochemical complex will generate 9,500 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs.
He regarded the commissioning ceremony as the commencement of a significant journey, marking a milestone in Nigeria’s oil and gas downstream sector.
Dangote expressed a commitment to replicating the success achieved in the cement and fertilizer markets, transforming Nigeria from a major importer to a net exporter.
Eliminating Import Dependency and Enhancing Competitiveness:
Dangote outlined the company’s goals of meeting Nigeria’s demand for high-quality petroleum products and eliminating import dependency.
The first products are expected to enter the market by the end of July or the beginning of August this year.
Furthermore, the company aims to run its plants at maximum capacity utilization and efficiency, enabling competitive exports to other markets.
Opportunity for Nigeria and the African Continental Free Trade Area:
Dangote highlighted that the operationalization of the refinery aligns with the African Union’s commitment to establishing an African common market through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Once fully commissioned, at least 40 percent of the refinery’s capacity is anticipated to be available for export, thereby bringing in significant foreign exchange for the country.