Dangote ‘raises $4bn to build Nigerian refinery’

CAPE TOWN — Nigerian multi-billionaire Aliko Dangote says he has negotiated loans of $4.25bn from banks to build a refinery to help the continent’s largest crude oil producer reduce petrol imports.

Refining “is an excellent business to get into”, Mr Dangote said on Wednesday in an interview in Cape Town, where he was attending a business forum. “We have already secured $4.25bn (from) two offshore banks and the rest are Nigerian banks,” he said.

DangoteNigeria, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, imports about 70% of the oil products it needs to meet domestic requirements. The nation’s four refineries process less than the 445,000 barrels a day of capacity because of aging infrastructure and poor maintenance. The country exports about four times that volume in crude oil.

Mr Dangote is Africa’s richest person, with an estimated wealth of $20bn, and the 34th-wealthiest person globally, on the Bloomberg billionaires index. He controls Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest producer of cement, through the Dangote Group.

The refinery would be located in the southwest of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, and would be able to process 400,000 barrels of crude a day, Sani Dangote, vice-president of the Dangote Group, said last month.

Dangote Cement will probably list shares in London in the fourth quarter of next year or the first three months of 2015, Mr Dangote said.

The share sale would dilute Dangote Industries’ ownership in Dangote Cement to about 70%-75%, he said.

Dangote Industries is controlled by Aliko Dangote.

Dangote Cement is the biggest company by market value in Nigeria. It closed trade on Wednesday at 175.06 naira in Lagos, giving it a market value of 2,983-billion naira ($18.9bn).

The stock has gained 37% this year.

The company plans to boost cement production to about 65-million metric tons to 70-million tons annually by 2015, from about 20-million tons now, Mr Dangote said.

Operations would start in Cameroon, Zambia and South Africa next year, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015, CEO Devakumar Edwin said on April 25.

Mr Dangote said he would announce an additional $350m investment in Zambia on Thursday, raising the investment in a cement plant there to about $750m. The plant will produce about 1.5-million tons of cement a year.

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