Nigeria is inching closer to a future where the bulk of its petroleum products are refined within the country as the 2019 completion date of the Dangote Refinery draws closer.
The project, located in Lekki Free Trade Zone on a vast land mass of 2,200 hectares, is expected to complete its first phase of construction in 2017, according to Mansur Ahmed, an Executive Director in Dangote Group.
The second phase would end in 2018 and the final phase in 2019.
The $11 billion refinery is expected to produce 650,000 barrels of refined petroleum products per day, enough to meet the nation’s fuel needs and export the surplus to other countries.
This development would ease the financial burden importing refined petroleum products put on the nation’s finances.
According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria, in 2016 alone, expended N2.59 trillion on the importation of refined petroleum products.
Aliko Dangote, the founder and CEO of Dangote Group of Companies, the majority shareholder in the refinery, said the refinery would help diversify the resource base of Nigeria.
He said, “This is the biggest industrial site anywhere in the world from the fertiliser, petrochemical and refinery plants.
“Our refinery will be 1.5 times the capacity of all the existing four refineries in the country even if they are working at 100 percent capacity.
“This is the single largest refinery in the world. The petrochemical that we have is 13 times bigger than the Eleme Petrochemical built by government.”
The Dangote Refinery will not just be an oil refinery as it will incorporate fertiliser and petrochemical plants too. This would enable it not just refine petrol, but also produce 2.8 million metric tonnes of assorted fertiliser, 3 million cubic metres of gas and 1.8 million tonnes of petrochemical products per annum.