Dangote refinery’s processing unit leaves China

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A piece of equipment that will process crude oil for Dangote refinery has set sail from China, Sinopec Corporation said on Monday. The 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery being built in Lagos is set to be Africa’s largest, and could transform the country from an importer of petroleum products to a net exporter.

“On July 29, the world’s largest atmospheric tower built by Sinopec slowly left a wharf in Ningbo. Following the Maritime #SilkRoad, it will travel to #Nigeria and be installed at the world’s biggest single-train facility Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery,”

Sinopec said in a tweet. For the type of refinery the company is building, the atmospheric tower is the primary unit processing crude oil into fuels, according to a Citac analyst, Jeremy Parker. Reuters reported that it would likely take at least a month to reach Lagos.

The President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, who built his fortune on cement, said last year that he planned to finish building the $12-$14bn refinery in 2019 and to start production in early 2020. Most analysts and observers said the ambitious project would take longer in order to begin pumping out fuels such as diesel and petrol, according to Reuters.

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