Dangote plans $16b four-year investment

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AlikoDANGOTE Group has unfolded plans to invest about $16 billion (N2.6 trillion) in cement, petrochemicals and agriculture over the next four years under its business expansion programme.

“We are investing $4.7 billion to finish our projects in cement in about 18 countries, including Nigeria.We are also spending about $2.3 billion on agriculture, which is sugar and rice”, the group’s President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said in an interview.

The group also plans to invest $9 billion in the building of an oil refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer complex.

The investment will help the group grow by almost a third in 2014, said Dangote, who is worth $22.1 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the world’s 34th richest man.

“We are very, very optimistic for 2014 — we are expecting average growth of 30 per cent group wide,” he added.

Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, said in April it plans to double its yearly total cement output to 55 million tonnes by 2015, boosted by new production in Cameroon, Zambia and South Africa.

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, which plans to start exports to Liberia, Senegal and Mauritania next year, aims to almost double refining capacity to 2.75 million tonnes by 2017 and increase sugar crop production, its chief executive officer, Abdullahi Sule said in August.

According to Dangote, “we are going to do a backward integration for rice by growing the crop as well as distributing it. We think Nigeria can be self-sufficient in rice production in the next three to four years.”

Dangote also plans to invest in a natural gas power plant to help provide electricity to Africa’s most populous nation, where a supply of 4,000 megawatts of electricity is less than half of demand. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest producer of crude oil, relies on motor fuel imports to meet more than 70 per cent of its needs.

“The only new investment we are looking at is upstream — to look for gas to secure our future businesses. We want to step in and make gas available, and this will translate into more stable power in the country”, he said.

Dangote Industries had agreed to a $3.3 billion loan with 12 local and international banks to help fund construction of a $9 billion petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical and fertilizer complex in Nigeria, Standard Chartered Plc, the global coordinator of the deal, said in September 4.

Dangote Cement shares have gained 56 per cent this year, valuing the company at N3.4 billion ($21.5 billion). Dangote Industriesshares are also up by 93 per cent this year.

 

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