Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and founder of the Dangote Group — the continent’s most diversified manufacturing group — has unveiled ambitious plans for the $20-billion Dangote Oil Refinery, anticipating a refining capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the close of 2024.
The recent statement, made during an interview with the Financial Times, builds on recent reports that the $20 billion refinery is set to commence production in December 2023 — signaling a giant stride in reshaping the continent’s energy industry.
The Dangote Oil Refinery is set to receive its first cargo of 6 million barrels from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) in December. Despite plans for the refinery to commence operations at a capacity of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), Dangote anticipates achieving the full refining capacity of 650,000 bpd by the end of 2024.
Dangote’s $20.5 billion petrochemical complex: delays, budget overruns, and ultimate arrival
The inauguration of the Dangote Oil Refinery in May was met with high expectations, yet operational delays prompted questions about its potential impact on meeting Nigeria’s refined petroleum needs.
While speaking about several challenges faced during the protracted construction of the $20.5 billion petrochemical complex — which saw the project running $8 billion over budget and significantly delayed — Dangote reflected on moments when he feared the venture might lead to the fall of his business empire.
Despite the hurdles, he expressed gratitude, stating, “It’s either we sink or we sail through. And we thank the Almighty that at least we’ve arrived at the destination.”
Aliko Dangote’s refinery: A $25 billion revenue boost for Nigeria’s energy independence
Given Nigeria’s current oil production of about 1.4 million barrels per day — falling short of its OPEC quota — Dangote revealed the refinery’s critical role in reducing dependency on foreign imports. The refinery — when operating at full capacity — is anticipated to generate a substantial annual revenue of $25 billion.
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.
Highlighting the potential benefits for African nations heavily dependent on imported refined energy products, the IEA sees the refinery as a key player in shaping Africa’s energy future, promoting self-sufficiency, and reducing reliance on imports.