Dangote Refinery Becomes World’s Largest Single-Train Refining Column

Capt. Rajen Sachar, Head, Maritime and Ports Infrastructure of Dangote, told newsmen at the arrival of the equipment in Lagos that it was the biggest single-train facility used for refining crude oil, the atmospheric equipment which was manufactured by Sinopec company in China is the primary unit processor of crude oil into fuels.

He said: “Crude oil enters the top of the column, where the inlet temperature is 165 degrees centigrade gradually increasing to 357 at the bottom of the column.

“During this passage, the crude and its vapors pass through a complex web of internal trays to increase the contact time and surface area.

“Within the column, the hot vapours travel upward through bubble caps which allow the vapour to pass through the tray with the cooler liquid flowing down the column.

“When the vapor reaches the height within the column where its boiling point is equal to the temperature of the column at that height, it condenses to form a liquid.

“The liquid then collects on various trays in the column at differing heights from where it is extracted out of the column.

“The crude distillation column is the largest in terms of distilling capacity which is 650 thousand barrels per stream day.” At present, this is the world’s largest single-train refining column.

“This equipment has dimension weight of 2,250 metric tonnes, 1,12.5 meters length, 14.036 meters width, and 13.752 meters height.

“It is the largest diameter, longest length, and the heaviest single-unit equipment in domestic export equipment.

“It will be installed in the world’s largest single-series refinery – the 32.5 million tonnes/year Dangote refinery in Nigeria,” he said.

“It is, therefore, critical to controlling the heat load of the column to optimize the crude crack.

“These separated fractions are mainly middle distillates: namely, naphtha, jet fuel, kerosene, gasoline and gas oil,” Sachar added.

He said that the crude column would enhance the economy of Nigeria and all neighboring countries in Africa by making available refined petroleum products meeting world standards emission norms of Euro 5 and Euro 6. The captain said the strategic location of Nigeria in the West Africa continent would help in reducing the transportation costs of the fuels to other countries in Africa thereby provide cost-effective high-grade petroleum products to them.

“This refinery with a capacity of 650 kbps is higher than the total demand of Nigeria; thus, catapulting Nigeria’s position from a net importer of petroleum products to a net exporter of petroleum products.”

He said that the development would redefine Nigeria’s position in the global petroleum products market, that the equipment was capable of refining 650,000 barrels per day (BPD), adding that the refinery was designed to be Africa’s largest, Sachar said that the technology was significant to Nigeria and the Dangote Oil Refinery Company. According to him, the technology will bring a multiplier effect positive to the company and Nigeria through supply to huge markets, he also said that the project was expected to generate over 9,500 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs.

Monday Ashibogwu

Monday Michaels Ashibogwu is Editor-In-Chief of QUICK NEWS AFRICA, one of Nigeria's leading online news service.

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