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Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is set to become the first African and Black person in history to lay claim to a $30-billion fortune as his $19-billion petroleum refinery nears completion.

The 650,00-barrel-per-day refinery is slated to be commissioned before the end of the first quarter of 2023, and could give a shot in the arm to Dangote’s fortune.

According to insiders at the Dangote Group who spoke to Billionaires.Africa on the condition of anonymity, the Nigerian billionaire plans to list Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd. by the first quarter of 2024 at a market capitalization of anywhere between $20 and $25 billion.

Dangote is expected to own a 90-percent stake in the company pre-listing, which could give a minimum $18-billion boost to his fortune and push his net worth well above the $30-billion mark, making him the first black billionaire to reach this milestone.

Dangote became the first African in modern history to lay claim to a $20-billion fortune in 2013, nearly 10 years ago, when the market capitalization of his cement business crossed the $20-billion market cap mark.

According to figures tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Dangote, who is presently worth $19.1 billion, ranks as the world’s 82nd richest man. The billionaire derives the bulk of his net worth from his 86-percent stake in publicly traded Dangote Cement, as well as from other holdings in salt and sugar manufacturing companies, among other assets.

With a net addition of at least $18 billion expected from the $19-billion integrated petrochemical refinery complex minority-owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dangote is expected to see his wealth increase from $19 billion to well over $30 billion.

Dangote is the founder and chairman of the Dangote Group, a leading manufacturing conglomerate on the African continentw  sugar, salt, oil, fertilizer, and packaged food production.

What you should know about Aliko Dangote’s oil refinery

The Dangote Petrochemical Complex is made up of the Dangote Oil Refinery and the Dangote Petrochemical Plant. The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is located in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, to the southeast of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ) on a land area of about 2,635 hectares (six times the size of Victoria Island).

In August 2021, the Nigerian government approved the sum of $2.76 billion for the state-owned petroleum company, the NNPC, to acquire a 20-percent minority equity stake in the Dangote Refinery.

The state-of-the-art facility will not only enhance the refining capacity of Nigeria but also strengthen the country’s position as a major player in the global oil and petrochemical industry.

The official commissioning date of the refinery has not been announced yet. However, the group has announced that operations at the refinery are expected to commence this year.

According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Dangote Oil Refinery will account for more than half of Africa’s medium-term refining additions, which are estimated at 1.2 million barrels per day; the refinery, with a capacity of 650, 000 barrels per day, is the largest of all the refinery additions expected across Africa in the medium term, according to OPEC.

The $19-billion project is a strategic move by Dangote and the Nigerian government to strengthen the country’s downstream industry and become a net exporter of refined petroleum products and petrochemicals by 2026.

The anticipated launch of the refinery is poised to not only fulfill Nigeria’s entire demand for refined products, but also generate a surplus for export, thereby establishing a market worth $11 billion annually for Nigerian petroleum products.

The complex will also produce 4 million metric tonnes of jet fuel per day, 65 million liters of premium motor spirits (petrol), 15 million liters of diesel, and 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas.

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