Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, announced that his refinery has secured a license to refine over 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude oil daily, emphasizing a commitment to commence operations with domestically sourced materials. Dangote made this statement during an interview in Riyadh on the sidelines of the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable, as reported by Bloomberg.
“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods; we want to start with Nigerian crude,” stated Dangote, expressing confidence in the refinery’s imminent production of gasoline. Despite missing the initial production target in August, Dangote remains resolute, assuring that the refinery will begin operations “very very soon.”
The primary focus of the refinery will be to supply gasoline to Nigeria before expanding its exports to other regions, including West Africa, according to Dangote. The Dangote Petroleum Refinery, as reported by The PUNCH, is currently importing crude oil, with the first cargo expected in approximately two weeks, as disclosed by Devakumar Edwin, the Executive Director of the Dangote Group.
While the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) traditionally trades crude oil on behalf of Nigeria, Dangote’s refinery has obtained a significant quantity of crude, raising questions about the recipients of the NNPCL’s crude. Dangote did not disclose the entities receiving the crude, but the NNPCL had earlier revealed a $3 billion crude oil-for-loan deal with the African Export-Import Bank in August.
The Dangote refinery, a 650,000 barrel-a-day facility, is anticipated to produce 27 million liters of diesel, 11 million liters of kerosene, and nine million liters of jet fuel. Dangote confirmed that the facility will receive crude from various producers in Nigeria, including the state oil company. Dangote, whose fortune is estimated at $16.2 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, remains optimistic about the refinery’s contribution to Nigeria’s energy landscape.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has recorded a significant increase in oil output, reaching 1.49 million barrels per day last month, the highest in nearly two years. The West African nation recently launched a new grade of crude, Nembe, through a joint venture between the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd. The Nembe crude stream is expected to enhance Nigeria’s oil output as the nation continues to ramp up production.