ABUJA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated the world's largest single-train refinery in the country's southwestern state of Lagos, hailing it as a significant milestone for the country's economy and a "game changer" for the petroleum products market in Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony for commissioning the Dangote Refinery which cost 19 billion U.S. dollars, Buhari emphasized the transformative impact of the refinery on Nigeria's economic prosperity, noting the public-private partnership project will not only reduce reliance on imported petroleum products but will also become a net exporter of refined petroleum products.
"This mega industry we are commissioning today is a clear example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported and when an enabling environment is created for investments and for businesses to thrive," he said.
Representing a significant milestone in Nigeria's quest for self-sufficiency in the oil and gas sector, the Dangote Refinery, located in the Lekki area of Lagos state, is Africa's largest oil refinery and the world's largest single-train refinery. Spearheaded by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, the multi-billion-dollar project has been years in the making and is poised to reshape Nigeria's economy.
The refinery, with a refining capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, is expected to position Nigeria as a major exporter of high-quality petroleum products, further bolstering the country's foreign exchange earnings, said Buhari.
Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote Group, said in his address that the first product of the refinery will be available in the market by the end of July or the beginning of August this year.
"We have built a refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day (plus 900,000 tonnes of polypropylene) in a single train -- which is the largest in the world. We have selected the best plants and equipment and the latest technologies from across the world," Dangote said.
He said the refinery is designed to produce high-quality and high-value products including gasoline, diesel and aviation kerosine, which will not only meet Nigeria's demand but also become a key player in the African and global market.
"Once our plant is fully on stream, we expect that at least 40 percent of the capacity will be available for export and this will result in significant foreign exchange inflows into the country," he added.