Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said his refinery has secured a licence to refine more than 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude per day and will begin to process gasoline soon.
“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods, we want to start with the Nigerian crude,” Dangote said in an interview in Riyadh on the sidelines of the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable, according to Bloomberg.
“We’re more than ready and you will see our gasoline products soon,” he added.
The refinery was supposed to start production in August but missed that target in addition to several other over the years. But Dangote insists that his refinery will start producing “very very soon.”
The refinery’s first priority is to supply gasoline to Nigeria before exporting to elsewhere, including the West African region, he said.
The 650,000 barrel-a-day facility, which is expected to produce 27 million litres of diesel, 11 million litres of kerosene and nine million litres of jet fuel, will receive crude from other producers in Nigeria, as well as the country’s state oil company, said Dangote, whose fortune estimated at $16.2bn 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 in almost two years.
The West African nation has launched a new grade of crude called Nembe through a joint venture, as the nation ramps up its oil output.
The Nembe crude stream is expected to be managed and marketed by a joint venture between state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd.
Crude theft and attacks on pipelines in the Niger Delta have crippled the OPEC member’s ability to meet its quota, meaning that the Nigerian government has been struggling to meet its revenue targets.