Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man has began the building of an undersea pipeline that will connect oil rich Niger Delta to the West Africa markets. The pipeline will transport gas and refined products for sale to Nigeria’s West Africa’s neighbours.
“The pipeline will be able to transport 1.5 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day,” Dangote said at the Economist summit currently ongoing in Lagos. A similar West Africa surface pipeline connects the Niger Delta to Ghana going through Benin and Togo. It is not clear the country destination of Dangote’s proposed pipeline.
Dangote is currently building a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria, to tap into the country’s abundant oil and gas resources. The company has raised $3.3 billion in loans for the project and has also invested $3.5 billion of its own equity.
The petrochemical complex will also have an oil refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) about 29 percent of Nigeria current crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day.
The refinery and petrochemical complex are expected to start production by 2018.
Nigeria currently has four refineries with a combined production capacity of about 400,000 barrels per day but operating at about 13% of installed capacity currently, which is mostly irregular. The Dangote refinery is not only expected to meet local demand for petroleum products but also refine enough products for export to neighbouring West African countries and other parts of Africa.
Also the petrochemical plant would produce 750,000 metric tonnes of polypropylene per annum while a fertiliser plant that would also be located at the complex will produce 2.8 metric tonnes of Urea and Ammonia.
Initial work plan disclosed by the company shows that construction work on the projects is expected to be completed by 2017 while refining operation would commence by 2018.