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Aliko Dangote (centre) inspecting progress at the Dangote oil refinery site, near Akodo Beach in Lagos
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Nigeria’s refining renaissance

Africa’s leading oil producer is looking to replace its archaic and underutilised refining capacity with the aim of becoming a global player

The 62-year old shoulders of Aliko Dangote support, to all intents and purposes, the lofty ambitions and desperate hopes of Nigeria in boosting its refining capacity, thanks to his new refinery under construction in a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos, its commercial capital. Africa’s largest oil producer averages around 1.8-2mn bl in daily crude oil production but its four refineries have a combined refining capacity of only around a quarter of that—a measly 445,000 bl/d. One is a relic from before independence from the UK in 1960, while the others were built in the 1970s and 1980s. Just as depressing is the fact that each of the plants operate at a level far below their full capa

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