Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, has risen in defence of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) against the national oil company’s alleged refusal of crude oil supplies to his 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery.
Dangote stated in a brief message sent yesterday that the Mele Kyari-led NNPC was ready and willing to supply the refinery with crude oil in a few weeks to enable the facility to begin refining operations.
The principal promoter of the $19.5 billion project, billed as the world’s largest single-train refinery, made the explanation in response to concerns raised by the company’s Group Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin, in a recent interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights.
However, a segment of the interview in which Edwin explained why the start of production at the refinery had been delayed somewhat was misinterpreted by certain members of the media as a refusal of feedstock supply by the NNPC.
In a statement issued yesterday, Dangote stated that, contrary to various media claims, NNPC has never refused the company’s crude oil delivery.
He stated that the NNPC had been very encouraging and supportive of their business trajectory in the oil and gas sectors.
“As a shareholder and a responsive partner, it is an aberration to assume that the NNPC will do anything to shorten or delay the start-up of our refinery,” Dangote added. We will begin refining with Nigerian crude.”
“We deeply value our collaboration with the NNPC and its subsidiaries, led by Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari,” Dangote concluded.
Dangote plans to make Nigeria self-sufficient in fuels and release a big volume for export through the refinery located in the Lekki release Trade Zone in Lagos, ending the humiliating status of Africa’s largest oil producer that imports all of its refined petroleum products.