LAGOS / LONDRES, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - LAfrica's richest man Aliko Dangote is in talks with some of the world's largest oil traders to help finance his mega-refinery project outside Nigeria's Lagos Mall , according to sources familiar with the matter.
The 650,000 barrels per day refinery, when completed, will be the largest plant on the continent and will redesign the main trade flows of crude and fuel in the Atlantic Basin.
Although it is Africa 's largest oil producer and exporter, the country relies almost entirely on imported fuel after allowing its massive refining capacity, 445,000 barrels per day, to degrade for several decades.
Many Nigerian officials past and present, including President Muhammadu Buhari, have announced their intention to renovate them, but the political willthat has been lacking.
The Natural Resources Gove rnance Institute, a nonprofit policy think tank, has previously identified dying refineries as a key focus of oil and waste corruption in the country.
Hit due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring construction costs , Dangote needs an injection of funds.
Nigerian state oil company NNPC must agree to buy a 20% stake in the refinery for about $ 2.8 billion, but Dangote is looking for outside liquidity. learn more Mele Kyari , NNPC official said a process is underway to raise $ 1 billion with Afreximbank to fund part of its stake purchase.
The billionaire had talks just over a month ago with leaders of the world's two largest oil traders - Trafigura and Vitol.
Trafigura and Vitol declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Dangote Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Two sources with direct knowledge said the option to raise an additional $ 500 million from a trading house or consortium was being actively explored.
The details of a A trading company's potential loan has not been finalized, but the trader could receive a long-term contract to supply crude and receive shipments of refined products as reimbursement.
The refinery was delayed for several years and the cost shot up to $ 19 billion per reportrt to Dangote's previous estimate of $ 12. 14 billion. Construction was also delayed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among workers at the site and delays in obtaining materials, two sources with knowledge of the project said.
Many industry sources do not expect any products until the second half of next year.
Swiss traders like Vitol as well as Nigerian companies have suffered for years from Nigeria gasoline shortages by providing mega-tenders and participating in lucrative crude oil-for-fuel swap deals for over a decade.
Acquiring fuel from Dangote will give the trader control over a key set of new oil streams. Nigeria's new petroleum bill, approved last month after nearly 20 yearspolitical wrangling, added fuel import license requirements that experts say will give Dangote an effective monopoly. learn more
Under the new laws, the regulator will prioritize local refiners for import licenses and volumes would be based on production capacity or share market.
While Nigeria will theoretically remain open to international trading houses, a partnership with Dangote would be the only way to guarantee a foothold in the larger African economy. Reporting by Libby George in Lagos, Julia Payne and Dmitry Zhdannikov in London, written by Julia Payne; edited by David Evans
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