- Products to hit market July
BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has promised that the first tranche of petroleum products from the refinery would be supplied to the market before the end of July.
Speaking at the commissioning of the integrated refinery project located in the Lekki free trade zone area of Lagos State on Monday, Dangote described it as a milestone in a new and exciting trajectory for Nigeria’s oil and gas downstream sector.
He said, “It is our firm commitment that we will replicate in this sector what we have actually achieved in the cement and fertilizer markets while Nigeria transformed from being the largest importer of these crude products to a net exporter.
“Our first goal is to ramp up projections of various productions to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy our nation’s demand for higher quality products to enable us to eliminate the tragedy of import dependency and stop, once and for all, the dumping in our market of toxic substandard petroleum products.
“Our first products will be in the market before the end of July, beginning of August this year.”
He added that the refinery will run at the highest capacity utilisation and the highest efficiency to enable the refinery to export competitively to other markets.
He said the refinery, single largest train in the world, will transform Nigeria into a major exporter of petroleum products globally.
Dangote added that it will position Nigeria in the downstream sector of the global petroleum market.
“It will meet the highest quality of all petrochemical products. Nigeria will become a key player in Africa and the global energy market.
“80% of production will circulate in Nigeria through trust. It’s the beginning of a great journey. Nigeria will become a key exporter as against being the largest importer. Before the end of July, the first products will hit the market.”
The refinery, according to Dangote, “will boost the transport sector and also generate massive job opportunities.”
He eulogized President Muhammadu Buhari for his support in the last eight years to make his dream come to fulfillment.
The Lagos government was also thanked for its support, as he noted that Nigeria’s President elect, Bola Tinubu, established the Lekki Free Trade Zone, where the refinery stands.
In his goodwill message, Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, said “the refinery represents a trajectory for greater growth for Nigeria’s economy.”
Emefiele disclosed that the impact of inflation increased the total funding cost of the project from $13bn when the idea was conceived to about $18.5bn at completion.
“Dangote’s equity participation in the project was 50 percent while local banks and the CBN contributed 50 percent.
“Meanwhile, $2.7bn of the total project funding remains outstanding as at the commissioning day. The$2.7bn total loan is outstanding as at today. It’s a credible investment,” Emefiele noted.
He added that efforts to diversify the economy were working as non-oil products export would be boosted by this refinery.
President Buhari also applauded Dangote for his investment initiatives to grow the Nigerian economy.
“He did it with cement and fertiliser and now, it is petroleum products,” the President said.
Buhari expressed confidence that his successor would further enhance the economy with good economic policies.
The refinery is set up to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day, transform crude oil into different petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and kerosene.
The refinery will produce Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.
The firm stated that the facility was designed to process a large variety of crudes, including many African types of crude, some Middle Eastern crude, and US (United States) Light Tight Oil.