Dangote to List Refinery on NGX, Says NNPC Won’t Take Beyond 20% Stake
By Dipo Olowookere
Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Limited will be listed on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited in the future, the Chairman of the company, Mr Aliko Dangote, has revealed.
Mr Dangote, who is the richest man in Africa, confirmed this in an interview with the Financial Times published on Saturday.
The refinery will join other businesses of Mr Dangote currently trading their equities on the NGX, Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, and NASCON.
The oil facility, believed to be worth about $20 billion, was launched in May 2023 by the immediate past president of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari, though it is yet to commence operations.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that the refinery was starved of crude oil supply by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, one of its major shareholders, frustrating its commencement of the production of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, which the country desperately needs as it currently relies on the importation of the commodity from Europe, especially from the Netherlands and Belgium.
But in the interview, Mr Dangote confirmed that this issue has been resolved, announcing that the refinery may begin to supply the nation diesel, kerosene and jet fuel from December 2023, which is just a few days away.
“We’re starting with 350,000 barrels a day. [We have sealed a deal for the first cargo of about 6mn barrels [for delivery in December],” he was quoted as saying.
According to him, “We have resolved all the issues of supply [with the NNPC,]” he said, refusing to blame the state-owned oil-firm for the difficulties in supplying crude oil to the refinery.
“Let’s not have the blame game here,” he declared in the interview.
However, he expressed optimism that the oil facility would be a game-changer for Nigeria, especially when it is listed on the domestic stock exchange, stressing that the NNPC was not attempting to increase its stake in the organisation with the supply-restriction tactics.
Recall that in 2021, the NNPC acquired a 20 per cent equity stake in Dangote Refinery for about $2.76 billion, and there have been speculations that the firm was planning to increase its shares in the company, which has the capacity to produce 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day and could generate $25 billion a year.
But Mr Dangote, who is 66, played down these rumours, saying, “I don’t think NNPC needs to buy more shares. I think they’re OK with what we’ve given them.”
Business Post reports that the commencement of production date of Dangote Refinery has been shifted more than three times in 2023.
In August 2022, the NNPC said the oil facility would begin operations by mid-2023, but this did not happen and at the commissioning of the refinery on May 22, 2023, in Lagos, Mr Dangote said the first product from the mega-complex structure “will be in the market before the end of July, beginning of August this year”.
In September 2023, the Dangote Group Executive Director, Mr Devakumar Edwin, told S&P Global Commodity Insights that the refinery will kick off production with 350,000 – 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel by October, when the crude distillation unit, sulfur block and hydrogen plant should be online.