The Dangote Group, which is currently building what it calls the world’s largest refinery, has given an assurance that when the plant comes on stream, it will put an end to the recurring fuel crises in the country.
The Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, said by the time the refinery was ready, Nigeria would be transformed from a fuel importing country to an exporting one.
“That plant itself is the largest single refinery plant anywhere in the world. In addition to the refinery, we are also going to produce some petrochemical products from the same complex. These are polyethylene and polypropylene,” Ahmed told journalists in Abuja.
He said the petrochemical plant, which covers 250,000 hectares of land and is located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, would gulp $14bn, with capacity to refine 650 million barrels of crude oil a day.
The executive director urged the government to deregulate the downstream sector so that investors could play in an open market.
Ahmed stated, “One would prefer if it was deregulated so that we know that we are playing in the open market. The key issue is that if I buy crude, whether from Nigeria or anywhere else, I buy at an international price. If I produce a product and want to sell, I should sell that product at an international price.
“So, I will not be affected by the decision of local pricing; it is on that concept that we went into refining. We expect that we will buy our input, especially crude, for international market price, and that when we produce products, we will sell those products at international prices.
“The refining industry is a global industry; if you use those international benchmarks, you shouldn’t really worry about the price. It is about time Nigeria completely deregulated the downstream industry. The kind of reason that has compelled the government to fix petroleum product prices has not been tenable.”