Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman Dangote Group, has given the assurance that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery would turn out its first product before the end of July.
Dangote disclosed this at the inauguration of refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Monday.
“Beyond the constant availability of high-quality fuels for our transportation sector, the refinery will also make available to our Industries vital raw materials for a wide range of manufacturers in the plastics, pharmaceutical, food and beverages, packaging, construction, and many other industries.
“While the refinery operation and ancillary businesses will generate massive job opportunities, the downstream value chain will equally provide far more absorptive capacity for labour in hundreds of thousands.
“Once our plant is fully onstream, we expect that at least 40 per cent of the capacity will be available for export and this will result in significant foreign exchange inflows into the country,” he said
He emphasised the refinery’s role in fulfilling the group’s corporate vision of promoting self-sufficiency and global competitiveness.
”We have built a Refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day (plus 900,000 tonnes of polypropylene) in a single train – which is the largest in the world. We have selected the best plants and equipment and the latest technologies from across the world.
”Our products slate is designed to meet the highest quality standards and high-value products including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel).
“Others are Aviation Turbine Kerosine (ATK); all of Euro V Standards that will enable us not only meet our country’s demand but also to become a key player in the African and global market.
”Our coastal location and offshore loading and offloading (SPM) facilities with a capacity to receive all our crude oil supplies and evacuate up to 75 per cent of our liquid products give us direct access to the rest of Africa and the global market for exports.
“In addition, 80 per cent of our production can be discharged through trucks nationwide.”
Dangote disclosed that the huge investment of over $18.5 billion in this industry was prompted by the company’s desire to support and contribute its quota to the Federal Government’s sustained effort to transform the economy and reposition Nigeria as the leading nation in Africa.
According to him, apart from ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality fuels for the transportation sector, the refinery will provide essential raw materials to a wide range of manufacturing sectors, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, packaging, construction, and more.
”Once our plant is fully on stream, we expect that at least 40 per cent of the capacity will be available for export and this will result in significant foreign exchange inflows into the country,” he said.
Also speaking, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that outstanding debt by Dangote refinery has dropped appreciably from over $9 billion to $3 billion.
This was even as he said the CBN also partnered, as always, with the Dangote Group in ensuring the successful completion of the project by providing about N125 billion, to cover domestic currency requirements for the venture.
Emefiele said that the Dangote Group has started repaying some of the commercial loans even before the inauguration of the facility, saying this reflects the commercial capability of the Group and its Chairman.
He added that the take-off of the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical factories came with numerous economic benefits to Nigeria.
” I understand that, so far, there are nearly 4,000 Nigerian personnel on site, excluding employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the project site.
” I am also proud to state that the project will generate up to 12,000MW of electricity,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dignitaries at the inauguration are Presidents Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Macky Sall of Senegal, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, and Mahamat Déby of Chad. (NAN)