The Federal government of Nigeria has impressed on Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, to speed work on his private oil refinery currently under construction in the commercial capital, Lagos.
The government said Nigeria’s dream of ending fuel importation by December 2019 could materialize if the $12bn refinery is ready before the 2019 deadline. The entire project which comprises the refinery and a petrochemical complex is, however, valued at about $18bn.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who visited the oil refinery site located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, said the government was ready to assist in any way possible to ensure the project is completed ahead of schedule.
“It is good to say that private sector is the answer to Nigeria’s problems with a project as big as this. The challenge I will give you today is that of time; I see your time for completion is 2019 December, but I am sure you will understand my greed if I tell you that the refinery component of this project should come earlier than the set date.
“I have made very firm commitment to Nigerians that I must stop the importation of petroleum products by 2019 and I am going to keep to it.
“It is absolutely important that we do this early and given the feat that we have achieved in terms of speed of construction and I urge you to do all within you to achieve its completion before the due date,’‘ he is quoted to have said.
Dangote who was present during the visit said his team will work to see how best they could speed up work on the project which is made up of an oil refinery and a petrochemical complex.
When completed, the refinery will be the world’s largest single line refinery, Petrochemical Complex, and the world’s second largest Urea Fertiliser plant. According to Dangote, the refinery will have the capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The Petrochemical Plant is also expected to produce 780 KTPA Polypropylene, 500 KTPA of Polyethylene, while the Fertiliser project will produce 3.0 million metric tons per annum (mmtpa) of Urea.
“In addition, we are also building the largest sub-sea pipeline infrastructure in any country in the world, with a length of 1,100 km, to handle 3 billion SCF of gas per day. We also plan to construct a 570 MW power plant in this complex.
“As a matter of fact, gas from our gas pipeline will augment the natural domestic gas supply and we estimate an additional 12,000MW of power generation can be added to the grid with the additional gas from our system.
“We will be adding value to our economy as all these projects will be creating about 4,000 direct and 145,000 indirect jobs. We will also save over $7.5 billion for Nigeria annually, through import substitution and generate an additional $5.5 billion per annum through exports of the refined petroleum products, fertilizer and petrochemicals,” Dangote said.