Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility has been launched in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, amid expectations that Nigeria will cease importing refined petroleum products once the company starts operation.
The refinery built by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man, was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 22, 2023.
The inauguration of the Dangote refinery was attended by many dignitaries in and outside Nigeria, including President Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, and a representative of President Mahamat Déby of Chad.
The plant, described as a “game-changer for the Nigerian people”, according to President Buhari, can produce about 650,000 barrels of petroleum products a day thereby meeting 100 per cent of the country’s needs for all refined products (gasoline, 53 million litres per day; diesel, 34 million litres per day; kerosene, 10 million litres per day; and aviation fuel, 2 million litres per day) with a surplus for export.
It also has a 435-megawatt power station, a deep seaport and a fertiliser unit.
At Monday’s launch, Dangote explained that the plant was built to ensure “constant availability of high-quality fuels for our transportation sector, the refinery will also make available to our industries vital raw materials for a wide range of manufacturing.”
Speaking about the potential of the refinery, the business mogul said: “Our Group’s corporate vision is driven by our mission to produce what we consume and to promote self-sufficiency in the basic needs of our people.
“We decided on a plant designed with state-of-the-art technology and a scale in a capacity that will be a game-changer in Africa and the global market.
“We have built a refinery with a capacity to process 650k barrels per day in a single train – which is the largest in the world. We have selected the best plants, equipment and the latest technologies from across the world.”
Dangote Group launched the project in 2016 with an estimated investment of $12 billion to $14 billion but after being delayed by several years, the cost shot to $19 billion.
Though the state-of-the-art integrated refinery is not yet operational, there are expectations that the refinery will start operations next month.