Photo by REUTERS
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has arranged more than $4.5 billion in financing for his Nigerian oil refinery project and aims to start production in early 2020.
Dangote, who built his fortune in cement, is constructing the world’s largest single oil refinery with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day to help reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported petroleum. Despite being a crude oil exporter, Nigeria imports the bulk of its petroleum because of a lack of domestic refining capacity.
Lenders will commit
$3.15 billion, with the World Bank’s private sector arm providing $150 million, Dangote said. He is investing more than 60 percent of his own money.
“We will end up spending between $12 billion to
$14 billion,” Dangote said. “The funding is going to come through equity, commercial bank loans, export credit agencies and developmental banks.” He said he hoped to finish construction in 2019, with refined products released in
the first quarter of 2020.
The financing involves Nigeria’s central bank, the African Development Bank and other international trade banks.
The planned refinery and petrochemical complex is expected to account for half of Dangote’s sprawling assets when it is finished. Dangote said he was looking to acquire more oilfields as his focus shifts toward the oil sector to feed the refinery.