Photograph — Bloomberg

Femi Otedola, Nigerian businessman and philanthropist who recently paid a visit to the Aliko Dangote’s multi-billion-dollar refinery and fertilizer projects in the Lekki Free Trade Zone disclosed that the refinery is 75 percent near completion. 

On the current state of other projects in the refinery, Otedola explained that the petrochemical unit is also 60 percent complete. In an Instagram post on Sunday, February 23, 2020, the Nigerian businessman revealed that “Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited did a test run of its fertilizer plant which is the second-largest in the world after that of Qatar.” 

Otedola further commended the Dangote Industries Limited team for a job well done, stating that Aliko Dangote’s dream of making the local refinery “the 8th wonder of the world,” is gradually evolving. 

The facility which was initially projected to be ready by 2020 has been moved to H1 2021. Upon completion, the Dangote Refinery which is situated on 6,180 acres (2,500 hectares) of land is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train petroleum facility. The refinery will be able to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day into refined petroleum products which will help Nigeria become an oil refining country, not just an oil exporter. 

Nigeria currently imports the majority of its refined petroleum due to a lack of domestic refining capacity in the country. With this new facility, Nigeria’s refining capacity will double and help in meeting the increasing demand for fuels while providing cost savings. The refinery’s location at Lekki Free Trade Zone along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean will allow for smooth transhipment of refined petroleum products to international markets, and ultimately eliminate the overreliance of fuel import from other regions into Nigeria. 

Estimated to cost about $18billion, the refinery will produce Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. During different phases of the project, a total of 4,000 direct and 145,000 indirect jobs will be generated. International and local contractors like MAN Diesel & Turbo, Schneider Electric, C&I Leasing, Honeywell UOP, and Air Liquide Engineering & Construction have benefitted from the building of the refinery. 

Similarly, the high unemployment rate in Nigeria which is estimated to reach 33.5 percent this year, will diminish as the refinery is set on employing citizens of the country especially young people to handle different areas in the facility. 

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