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The Dangote Group, has disclosed that at the completion of its refinery, Nigeria would be transformed from a fuel importing to an exporting country.

This is coming from Mansur Ahmed, Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

Ahmed gave insight on how Dangote Group will overcome the problem of pipeline vandalism.

Ahmed said a concrete pricing system that will be adopted when the refinery becomes fully operational.

The Director said the petrochemical plant, which covers 250,000 hectares of land and is located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, will require $14bn, with capacity to refine 650 million barrels of crude oil on a daily basis.

“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.”

He advised the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream sector in order to allow investors play in an open market.

According to Ahmed, “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.”

On the protection of its pipelines from vandals, this is what Ahmed has to say:

“We are involved in oil exploration and we expect that we will have some of our own crude that we can use but the refinery is designed to use different types of crude so that if we don’t have enough Nigerian crude we can also import. On how we plan to escape vandalism, the arrangement we are making is that our crude is going to come through a subsea pipeline. The chances of anybody going down to vandalize is limited. We are going to even have our own field lay pipelines that will deliver the crude and if we are importing it will come from major vessels that will come close to the refinery and pump the crude . We are not unconscious of this issue.”

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