Aliko Dangote announced that his refinery has obtained a licence to process over 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude daily and will commence petrol production very soon.
“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods; we want to start with the Nigerian crude,” Dangote said during an interview in Riyadh at the sidelines of the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable, as reported by 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 others over the years. But Dangote insists that his refinery will start producing “very very soon.”
The refinery’s primary focus is to provide gasoline to Nigeria before considering exports to other regions, including West Africa.
Devakumar Edwin, Executive Director of Dangote Group, confirmed the refinery’s importation of crude oil, with its first cargo expected in two weeks.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had allocated its crude to other entities, undisclosed by Dangote, in line with a $3 billion crude oil-for-loan deal with the African Export-Import Bank.
The 650,000 barrel-a-day facility is set to produce substantial quantities of diesel, kerosene, and jet fuel. Nigeria’s oil output reached 1.49 million barrels per day, the highest in nearly two years.
The introduction of a new crude grade, Nembe, through a joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd. aims to bolster the country’s oil production.
Crude theft and pipeline attacks in the Niger Delta have hindered Nigeria’s ability to meet its OPEC quota, posing challenges for the government to attain its revenue targets.