Dangote Refinery took delivery of the world largest crude distillation column (CDC) equipment designed for crude oil processing. The CDC is the largest in terms of distilling capacity which is 650,000 barrels per stream day. The significant equipment weighs 2250MT; Length, 112.5m; Width, 14.036m; and Height, 13.752m; the weight does not include the weight of the internal trays which is approximately 536 MT.
Capt Rajen Sachar, Head, Maritime and Ports Infrastructure of Dangote told newsmen during the arrival of the facility in Lagos that the equipment is the biggest single-train facility used for refining crude.
The refinery equipment which was manufactured by Sinopec in China is the primary unit processor of crude oil into fuels.
Sachar said the crude oil consists of various chemical components that have different molecular sizes, molecular weights and boiling temperatures.
He added that the crude distillation column works on the principle of fractional distillation leading to separation of various components in the mixture on the basis of their different boiling points.
According to him, “crude oil enters the top of the column, where the inlet temperature is 165 degrees centigrade gradually increasing to 357 degree centigrade at the bottom of the column. During this passage the crude and its vapours pass through a complex web of internal trays to increase the contact time and surface area within the column with the hot vapours travelling upwards through bubble caps which allow the vapour to pass through the tray with the cooler liquid flowing downward the column.
“When the vapour 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. It is therefore critical to control 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.”