Nigerian billionaire and the richest black man in the world, Aliko Dangote, has launched a $20 billion oil refinery. He launched the mega refinery in Nigeria’s commercial city Lagos, amidst pomp and pageantry.
The facility has been described as a game changer in Africa’s petrochemical industry and is expected to revive Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. Nigeria is Africa’s largest producer of crude oil, with peak production levels at an estimated 2.2 million barrels per day. However, the country lacks the capacity to process its crude oil.
Many of the oil products on the continent are imported from other oil-producing countries like India, Belgium, UAE, and the Netherlands. As a result, the country spends billions of dollars on imports annually and exposure to the disruption of domestic fuel supply.
The new refinery is expected to reduce the amount of money the country spends on importing refined crude products into the country. The Dangote refinery, located at the Lekki free trade zone area of the commercial hub Lagos, can process 650,000 barrels per day.
Additionally, the refinery aims to produce up to 53 million liters of gasoline per day, as well as 4 million liters of diesel and 2 million liters of aviation jet fuel daily.
“There will be 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 manufacturing,” Dangote said at the launch of the refinery, according to CNN.
“We have built a refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day in a single train — which is the largest in the world … We decided on a plant designed with state-of-the-art technology and a scale in a capacity that will be a game-changer in Africa and the global market,” he added.
The refinery was partly financed by Dangote with the remaining financing coming from debt finance from banks such as Access and Zenith banks.
The billionaire has a net worth of $12.7 billion, according to Forbes, while Bloomberg puts his net worth at 19.0 billion. He makes his money largely from Dangote Cement, one of Africa’s most successful and recognizable brands. His cement factory can produce 48.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa.
In addition to his cement factory, Dangote is also into the production of sugar and until recently, fertilizer and oil refinery.