THE President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said Monday that the first refined petroleum products from the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery would hit the market before the end of July.
Alhaji Dangote disclosed this while delivering his speech during the official commissioning of the refinery.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned the refinery amid high expectations that it will impact the nation’s oil and gas sector and the larger economy.
The pipeline infrastructure at the refinery is said to be the largest in the world, with 1,100 kilometres and will handle 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
On Monday, Alhaji Dangote said the commissioning ceremony was “just the beginning of a great journey, a milestone in a new and exciting trajectory for the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
“It is our firm commitment that we will replicate in this sector what we have achieved in the cement and fertiliser markets, where Nigeria transited from being the largest importer of these products to a net exporter.
“Your excellencies, distinguished guests, our first product will be in the market before the end of July or beginning of August this year,” Dangote said, noting that beyond the commissioning ceremony, the first goal is to ramp up production of the various products to ensure that within this year, the refinery can fully satisfy the nation’s demand for quality products.
“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,” he said.
“Our group’s corporate vision is driven by our mission to produce what we consume and to promote self-sufficiency in the basic needs of our people. 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.
“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 have selected the best plants, equipment and the latest technologies from across the world.”
Alhaji Dangote added that the company would ensure that its plants are run at the highest capacity and efficiency to enable it to export competitively to other markets.
“This is a clear opportunity for Nigeria given the African Union’s commitment to the creation of an African Common Market through the recently established African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) regime,” he said.
He explained that beyond the constant availability of high-quality fuels for the transportation sector, the refinery would also make available to local industries vital raw materials for a wide range of manufacturers in the plastics, pharmaceutical, food and beverages, packaging, construction, and many other industries.
He noted that while the refinery operation and ancillary business will generate massive job opportunities, the downstream value chain will equally provide far more absorptive capacity for labour in hundreds of thousands.
He added that once the 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.
“Overall, we are committed to operating our plant in line with international best practice, recognising the importance of protecting the environment, we have adopted stringent environmental, health & safety policies,” he said.