The President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote has disclosed that the its oil refinery will start processing crude in the third quarter of this year.

According to him, the plant would start with a processing capacity of 540,000 barrels per day.

Bloomberg quoted him as saying in a briefing at the plant site in Lagos that  “Mechanical work on the refinery is complete and hopefully before the end of third quarter we should be in the market.”

“Full production can start maybe, by the end of the year or beginning of 2023,” he said.

The facility, which will cost an estimated $19bn to build, has an installed capacity of 650,000bpd. Its output will be more than enough to meet Nigeria’s fuel demands and turn Africa’s largest crude producer into an exporter of refined crude.

READ ALSO: Osundare Gave Reasons Why Nigeria is Still Backward

Dangote, Africa’s richest man, addressed reporters along with Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, which previously provided a $300m loan in support of the project.

The AfDB head, Akinwumi Adesina and Dangote discussed possible collaboration to expand the billionaire’s businesses to more African countries to take advantage of the free trade area agreement.

They also talked about setting up an industrial manufacturing corps on the continent made up of the engineers that built the refinery. This will ensure that the skills gained can be shared with other countries in Africa and outside the continent.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote, originally a cement tycoon, is worth $20.4bn.