Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) Nigeria On Monday commissioned the Dangote Oil Refinery – considered a “game changer” in ending fuel imports into the country.
Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in the commercial hub of Lagos, in an event attended by some West African heads of state.
worth $20 billion Giant strainer The Dangote Group, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, aims to produce up to 53 million liters of petrol per day, as well as 4 million liters of diesel and 2 million liters of jet fuel per day.
Speaking at the event, Dangote described the refinery as “the largest single-train refinery in the world.”
The refinery is expected to solve some of Nigeria’s oil problems. Despite being an oil producing country and one of the largest oil producers in Africa, Nigeria lacks the capacity to refine its oil.
A large number of these products located in the West African country are imported from other countries Such as India, Belgium, UAE and the Netherlands.
Between 2015 and 2019, the cost of importing refined petroleum products exceeded exports by $58.5 billionAccording to OPEC, a group of major oil producers.
Nigeria’s lack of refining capacity presents many challenges such as spending billions of dollars on imports annually and being vulnerable to disruptions in domestic fuel supplies.
The Dangote refinery is significant because it plans to solve these problems by doubling the country’s refining capacity, as well as increasing fuel demand domestically and generating foreign exchange for the country through exports.
“There will be a continuous availability of high-quality fuels for our transportation sector, and the refinery will also provide vital raw materials for our industries of a wide range of manufacturing,” said Dangote, who partially financed the construction of the refinery.
About 50% of the money used to build the refinery came from Dangote’s equity investment while the other half came from debt financing from banks such as Access and Zenith.
“We have built a refinery with a processing capacity of 650,000 barrels per day in a single train – the largest in the world… We decided to create a plant designed with the latest technology and a scale in capacity that would be a game-changer in Africa and the global market.”
The refinery is located within the Lekki Free Zone, a 16,500-hectare free-trade zone. The master plan also contains a proposed airport, an emerging community, and commercial and residential areas.
The head of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emifiele, said the refinery “is capable of meeting all of Nigeria’s domestic fuel consumption, given its processing capacity.”
Emefiele further explained that: “Nigeria can be self-sufficient in all the products we consume and at the same time export our surplus production to the rest of the world.”
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was also present at the event, described the Dangote refinery as an “amazing project that ‘makes West Africa better and stronger'”.
The refinery is seven times the size of Victoria Island in Lagos, with an area of over 2,000 hectares.