Africa’s largest petrochemical refinery, the $20 billion Dangote Oil Refinery, owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest individual, is set to commence production in December 2023 — marking a significant step toward transforming the continent’s energy landscape.
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Dangote, the president of Dangote Group, revealed that the refinery — with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day — will commence operations refining 350,000 barrels per day of crude oil.
Dangote expressed confidence in the refinery’s potential, stating, “We’re starting with 350,000 barrels a day.” He further disclosed that a deal had been sealed for the “first cargo of about 6 million barrels,” scheduled for delivery next month.
Despite initial plans to start production in August, the Dangote Oil Refinery has faced persistent delays. However, Aliko Dangote remains optimistic — disclosing that the refinery could reach its full capacity of 650,000 barrels a day by the end of 2024.
The Dangote Oil Refinery recently obtained a license to refine over 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude daily, marking a crucial milestone for the mega project. The refinery is also gearing up to receive six crude oil cargoes from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC).
Dangote, in his commitment to utilizing Nigerian resources, emphasized at a Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable in Riyadh earlier this month, “We’re more than ready; you will see our gasoline products soon.” The refinery’s first priority, he asserted, is to supply gasoline to Nigeria, aiming to contribute to meeting the nation’s refined petroleum needs.
In May, the Dangote Oil Refinery was inaugurated amid high expectations — despite operational delays prompting questions about meeting Nigeria’s energy demands — Dangote remains resolute in his vision for the refinery to play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s and Africa’s energy landscape.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently commended Dangote and his refinery as a transformative force poised to drive oil demand growth in the coming decade.
The IEA highlighted the refinery’s potential to benefit African nations that are heavily dependent on imported refined energy products. By promoting self-sufficiency and reducing reliance on imports, the refinery emerges as a key player in shaping Africa’s energy future.