September 2017

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Global: The slow closing of Africa’s refining technology gap

Technology gaps in the crude oil refining sector of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are making it difficult for crude oil processing plants to achieve energy efficiency, produce high-quality products or adhere to international carbon emissions requirements.

Oirere, S., Contributing Editor

Technology gaps in the crude oil refining sector of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are making it difficult for crude oil processing plants to achieve energy efficiency, produce high-quality products or adhere to international carbon emissions requirements. Although some African nations are investing in expanding and upgrading projects and/or capital-intensive grassroots facilities with modern distillation systems, the vast majority of the continent’s refineries have simple configurations. The majority of Africa’s refineries—which are largely topping/reforming plants—are more than 50 yr old. Their operators struggle with an unstable political climate, low refining complexity, low refinery utilizat

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