The giant refinery being built in Nigeria by Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote, will finally start operations by mid-2023, according to the state oil company, which has a 20% stake in the project.
“Projection is first quarter, but we think that it can come up latest by the middle of next year,” Mele Kyari, chief executive of the Nigerian National Petroleum Co., told reporters in Abuja, the capital.
The NNPC will stop importing refined products next year, once the 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery starts up and the ongoing rehabilitation of the state firm’s own refineries is completed, he added. The project, which also includes a fertilizer complex, started construction in 2016 and has been delayed several times.
NNPC will begin allocating crude production from its partnerships with oil companies to the refinery once it begins operations, according to Kyari. “We have locked down the ability to sell 330,000 barrels-per-day minimum by right for the next 20 years,” he said.
The state-owned energy firm has also acquired the right to purchase 20% of production from the plant, Kyari added. The refinery will primarily produce gasoline, but also some quantities of diesel and jet fuel.