Africa’s largest diesel, jet fuel refinery begins production

Henry

Africa’s largest diesel and jet fuel refinery built by the continent’s richest man has started production, the company said on Saturday. They believe it is “a great day for Nigeria”.

The Dangote refinery will be able to produce about 650,000 barrels per day when fully operational and could end Nigeria’s dependence on fuel imports.

The mega project, built by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, is expected to have products on the market as early as this month, but it is not yet known when the refinery will reach full capacity production or start processing gasoline.

The facility was built on 2,635 hectares of land on the Lekki Free Zone on the outskirts of Lagos and cost an estimated $19 billion, according to local media.

“Dangote Petroleum Refinery has started the production of diesel and jet fuel,” the group said. “This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to achieve this milestone.”

Although Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest oil producers and has the continent’s top economy, the country relies almost entirely on imported petrol and diesel due to the lack of processing capacity.

Nigeria is exchanging billions of dollars worth of crude oil for gasoline, which it has been subsidizing for years to keep prices cheap for its domestic market.

Fuel imports and subsidies put a lot of pressure on foreign exchange as Nigeria struggled with dwindling oil revenues and a lack of foreign exchange.

The refinery, which was supposed to open its doors in 2021, was officially inaugurated in 2023 by the then President Muhammadu Buhari and operations were to have started in June of that year.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who became president in May last year, ended the fuel subsidy and floated the naira currency in economic reforms that he said would attract foreign investment and build long-term growth.