Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries would soon heave a sigh of relief from the importation of petroleum products, with the imminent completion of the 650,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos.
Group Executive Director in-charge of Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development for the Refinery Devakumar Edwin, expressed this view during the opening of the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhIPCON), which took place in Accra, capital of Ghana.
This year’s conference held under the theme: ‘Regional Collaboration: A Catalyst for Transformation,” organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority, was attended by stakeholders in the petroleum sector in the West Africa region.
Mr. Edwin expressed the belief that the completion of Dangote Refinery and other modular refineries projects across West Africa, would lead to the integration of the downstream industries and stabilize the prices of petroleum products across the African sub-region.
He stressed the need for other investors in West Africa to emulate the investment drive of Aliko Dangote in the downstream petroleum sector and make the sub-region exporter of refined products.
He also urged investors in sub-Saharan Africa to take the bull by the horn by investing in the downstream sector.
According to him, “If Dangote can do it, any investor can do it. Dangote has not waited for government to regulate the downstream sector before starting the construction of the refinery.”
“We don’t need foreign investors to turn around our downstream sector. African investors should be able to emulate Dangote and revive the African downstream petroleum industry,” he added.
He assured that the refinery is designed to process multiple grades of domestic and foreign crude, which can be converted into high-quality gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuels that meet Euro V emissions specifications.
The facility, according to him, would be integrated with a petrochemical unit that will produce polypropylene and fertilisers.
Mr. Edwin said Nigeria would soon become the largest exporter of fertiliser in Africa as the Dangote Fertiliser Company is set to commence full production.
According to him, pre-commissioning activities have started while construction work is still on-going at the Dangote Refinery site.