Nigeria businessman plans to build new refinery, petrochemical plants

LAGOS (AFP) -- Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote, labeled by Forbes as Africa's richest man, announced plans Wednesday to build a refinery as well as petrochemical and fertilizer plants worth some $9 billion, promising to reduce Nigeria's dependency on imported fuel.

The plans were announced by Dangote Industries.

According to a statement, the firm signed a loan deal with a consortium of local and international banks for $3.3 billion to construct the biggest petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical/fertilizer plants in Nigeria.

"The plants, which will cost a total of $9 billion, will generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, in addition to reducing current volumes of refined fuel imports by around 50 percent" and effectively ending the importation of fertilizer, the statement said.

Construction of the plants in the country's southwest is expected to be complete in three to four years, a spokesman said.

The deal could eventually prove pivotal for Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, and other countries on the continent may also benefit.

The Dangote refinery is expected to reach a capacity of 400,000 bpd of crude oil, the statement said.

Dangote Group includes a wide range of interests, from cement to sugar and real estate.

Dow Jones Newswires

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