Dangote Group, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, on Monday announced plans to buy phosphate from Morocco and potash from Congo-Brazzaville to feed a planned fertilizer plant.
According to Reuters, Dangote disclosed to business forum in Lagos that his firm was close to signing a deal with a Moroccan firm to supply phosphate.
Dangote had raised a $3.3 billion loan to develop a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer. The group has invested $3.5 billion of its own equity.
He also said his planned oil refinery would have a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd), up from an initial plan of 400,000 bpd.
“We can actually build … 30 percent cheaper than previously,” Dangote said, referring to lower construction cost as a result of cheap global steel prices.
He said the refinery and petrochemical complex will go online around 2018. He also pointed out that the Dangote group was also constructing a gas pipeline beneath the sea to link Nigeria’s oil producing Delta region to West Africa.
The pipeline when completed will be able to transport 1.5 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day, he said, without giving more details.
Dangote Group, which is active in cement, oil, food and sugar business, is also expanding into farming.