Africa’s Biggest Refinery Launched in Nigeria

On Monday, May 22, 2023, Africa’s biggest oil refinery was launched in Nigeria. The $19bn (£15.2bn) refinery, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is situated in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lekki area of Lagos.

In one of his last commitments before the inauguration of the new President yesterday (Monday 29th May), the then Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was present at the event together with the Presidents other West African countries including Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Macky Sall (Senegal), Mohamed Bazoum (Niger Republic) and Mahamat Déby (Chad) among others.

The refinery is expected to become operational in July 2023 and at the launch, Mr Dangote outlined his hopes for the refinery by saying: “Our first goal is to ramp up production of the various products to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy the nation’s demand for quality products.”

“We have built a refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day in a single train — which is the largest in the world … We decided on a plant designed with state-of-the-art technology and a scale in a capacity that will be a game-changer in Africa and the global market,” Dangote added. 

Head of Nigeria’s Central Bank Godwin Emefiele said the refinery “is more than able to meet all of Nigeria’s domestic fuel consumption, given its processing capacity. Nigeria can be self-sufficient in all products that we consume and at the same time export our excess output to the rest of the world.”

Dangote expects to begin refining crude in June but London-based research consultancy Energy Aspects said commissioning was an intricate process and expects operations to start later this year, reaching 50-70% next year, with a staggered process of other units into 2025.Data in a document obtained from the Dangote company, shows that the Dangote Refinery could support the establishment of 26,716 fillings stations, create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, and provide a $21bn market for Nigerian crude oil annually.

Read more about it here and here.