Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said his refinery has obtained a permit to process more than 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude daily and will soon start producing gasoline.
“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods, we want to start with the Nigerian crude,” the tycoon said in an interview with Bloomberg on Saturday in Riyadh during the Saudi-Nigeria business forum.
“We’re more than ready and you will see our gasoline products soon.”
The refinery, which has a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, has missed several production targets over the years.
But Dangote insists that his refinery will be operational “very very soon.” He said the refinery’s main goal is to supply gasoline to Nigeria before exporting to other regions, including West Africa.
The facility is expected to produce 27 million liters of diesel, 11 million liters of kerosene and 9 million liters of jet fuel. It will receive crude from other Nigerian producers, as well as the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), according to Dangote, whose fortune is estimated at $16.2 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Nigeria increased its oil output by 60,000 barrels per day last month, reaching 1.49 million barrels per day – the highest level in almost two years. The country has also launched a new grade of crude called Nembe through a joint venture, as it ramps up its oil production.
The Nembe crude stream will be managed and marketed by a joint venture between NNPC and oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd. Nigeria, an OPEC member, has faced difficulties in meeting its quota due to crude theft and pipeline attacks in the Niger Delta. This has impacted the government’s ability to generate revenue.