In a groundbreaking move, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has bestowed Dangote Group's Chairman and President of Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with a license to import Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol into the country. This authorization paves the way for Dangote's fuel to soon enter the Nigerian market, propelling the nation towards an energy transformation. The permit comes as Dangote's monumental 650,000 barrels per day plant at Lekki, Lagos nears completion.
As per reliable sources from the Presidency, the imported fuel will be offloaded at Dangote's barge and transferred to storage tanks. The fuel will be made available to marketers at prices dictated by the market, facilitating continuous progress at the refinery. Notably, the choice to entrust Dangote with this responsibility was influenced by NNPC's 20% minority stake in the refinery, forging a strategic partnership.
Dangote's refinery boasts an impressive storage capacity of 4.742 billion liters, establishing itself as the largest on the African continent. With the NNPC investing a substantial $2.76 billion in the project, the initial payment has already been made in cash. The subsequent payments will be covered through crude sales and company profits, ensuring a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Regarding the refinery's completion, while the official commissioning ceremony took place recently, it was revealed that the facility is at an 88% completion stage. Some equipment is still awaiting delivery from manufacturers, and those that have been installed are yet to undergo integrity testing. Additionally, certain aspects of the production lines, such as electrical works, are lagging behind schedule. Consequently, industry insiders predict that the refinery may not become operational until March 2024. Thus, Dangote's fuel import permit was granted as a temporary measure until work on the refinery reaches fruition.
The pipeline infrastructure at the refinery is touted as the world's largest, stretching across 1,100 kilometers and facilitating the handling of three billion standard cubic feet of gas daily. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, during the commissioning ceremony, expressed his commitment to swiftly ramp up production to fulfill the nation's demand for superior petroleum products.
Excitement surges as the first batch of Dangote's refined petroleum products is anticipated to hit the market before the end of July or early August this year. The colossal refinery, equipped with cutting-edge technology and carefully selected equipment, signifies a monumental leap towards achieving energy self-sufficiency.
With the granting of this import permit to Dangote, Nigeria's energy landscape is poised for transformation, leading the nation towards a more vibrant and sustainable future.