AFRICANGLOBE – Dangote Group, controlled by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, may list an oil refinery it is building in Nigeria once it becomes profitable.
The plant, which will be able to process 500,000 barrels of crude a day, will be situated near the commercial hub of Lagos, Dangote Group stakeholder relations director Mansur Ahmed said. It will target Euro 5 production standards and may supply domestic and export markets.
“Basic design has been completed,” Mr Ahmed said in a speech read on behalf of company president Mr Dangote, at the African Refiners Association conference in Cape Town.
“Site clearing is nearing completion. Site development should commence in a few weeks’ time.”
While Nigeria is Africa’s top producer of crude oil, it relies on imports to meet more than 70% of its needs.
Four state refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels a day are operating at a fraction of that because of poor maintenance and aging equipment. This often results in critical shortages and long queues at petrol stations.
“The current domestic refining capacity has been whittled down to less than 10% of the capacity that exists,” Mr Ahmed said. “There is currently demand of over 500,000 barrels per day in Nigeria.”
In September 2013, Dangote said it had agreed on a $3.3bn loan with 12 Nigerian and foreign lenders to build the refinery as well as a petrochemical and fertiliser complex costing a total of $9bn. At the time, the facility in Africa’s biggest economy was expected to have capacity of 400,000 barrels a day. The plant is expected to come on-stream in late 2017 or the first half of 2018, the company said in November.
Dangote will use equity and debt to pay for the refinery, Mr Ahmed said. The company plans to utilise two underwater pipelines and large vessels to deliver crude to the facility.
The group owns Dangote Cement, the country’s biggest company by market value, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Industries and Dangote Oil Services. Mr Dangote is worth $12.9bn the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows.
By: Mike Cohen