The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the newly commissioned Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals will help Nigeria generate more electricity.
Speaking on Monday at the epoch-making commissioning of the project at Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos State, Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the Dangote Refinery is expected to generate 12,000 megawatts of electricity.
Emefiele, who recalled also that the project, at conception, was estimated to cost about US$9 billion of which US$3 billion was projected as an equity investment by the Dangote Group and the balance financed through commercial loans, praised the role of Nigerian commercial banks for providing loans to the Dangote Group to finance the project.
He particularly expressed appreciation to all the participating local Nigerian banks, which provided immense support and exceptional understanding, even when interest payments and principal repayment had fallen due.
“I am proud to state that the commercial loan component of the project was financed majorly by our domestic banks, with the balance sourced from foreign banks,” the CBN Governor declared, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria also partnered with the Dangote Group in ensuring the successful completion of the project by providing about N125 billion, to cover domestic currency requirements for the venture.
Furthermore, he disclosed that the Dangote Group had started repaying some of the commercial loans before the inauguration of the facility, even as he disclosed that the outstanding debt of Dangote Group, following extensive repayments, had dropped from over US$9 billion to US$2.7 billion.
Given the processing capacity of 650,000 barrels-per-day (BPD), the CBN Governor said the refinery was more than able to meet all of Nigeria’s domestic fuel consumption, which is about 450,000 barrels per day, while the excess production will be available for export.
According to him, the refinery is designed to process not only the Bonny Light grade of crude oil, but also process a wide variety of other crude streams, including many from Africa, some Middle Eastern streams, and the US Light Tight oil. He also said the Dangote refinery is equally capable of delivering all types of liquid products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation jet fuel.
Continuing, Emefiele projected that the Dangote refinery could earn Nigeria foreign exchange savings, of between US$25 billion and US$30 billion annually, stressing that the impact of the savings would be directly reflected in Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves by reducing the pressure on the country’s balance of payments.
While describing the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Factory as a blessing to Nigeria and Africa as a whole, with favourable spillovers expected to spread from Nigeria to other West African countries and eventually to all countries of the African continent, he said the recent endeavours of Alhaji Aliko Dangote confirmed that Africans have the capacity to drive the continent’s economic integration, growth, and development, rather than depend almost entirely on foreign investors.
Emefiele further stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through its various development finance interventions, would continue to support critical sectors of the Nigerian economy to promote a homegrown rebalancing of the Nigerian economy and fostering self-sufficiency.