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Nigeria: Aliko Dangote wants to “make Africa self-sufficient”

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This article is part of the dossier:

Nigeria/France: Le Nouveau Chapitre

By Nicholas Norbrook, in Lagos

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Posted on June 28, 2021 12:30

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Industries Limited at the Elysée Palace (rights reserved)

Nigeria’s leading industrialist is pushing ahead with his refinery, which should see mechanical completion by the end of the year. He is attending President Macron’s Choose France summit at Versailles on 28 June to build new links to French industry.

Visitors to Dangote’s refinery often struggle with the scale, whether craning heads up to the 112-metre crude column or driving along the 125km of internal roads within the site on the Lekki peninsula, some 80km east of Lagos. “I call it an industrial city,” says Giuseppe Surace, the chief operations officer at the Dangote Oil Refinery. “It is 19 interconnected projects.”

Some 40,000 workers are active daily on site, with 30,000 living within the perimeter fence.

Alongside the storage tanks, a 3.6 million-tonne-per-year poly­propylene plant sits next to a power station. In the distance, an already operational urea plant is pumping out fertiliser at a rate of 3m tonnes per year.

Although there are filling stations, the majority of the petroleum products will be piped out to offshore berths able to accommodate the world’s biggest tankers.

Hit by delays linked to Covid-19, design changes

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