Air Liquide Engineering & Construction has been selected to supply two hydrogen (H2) production steam methane reformer (SMR) units to Dangote Group, the largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa.

The SMR units will be core to a new H2 generation complex producing 200,000 Nm3/h of H2 and high-quality steam for Dangote’s new refinery located in the Lekki free trade zone in Nigeria. The new refinery is part of the largest industrial complex that is currently under development in Africa and will produce Euro V compliant low sulfur fuels among other products.

Hydrogen is used today in many industrial sectors, especially in the oil refining process to produce sulphur-free fuels. This project will considerably improve refining infrastructure in Nigeria and consequently enable the country to manufacture refined products locally, reducing the reliance on the imported goods.

This equipment supply agreement follows a first agreement related to technology license and process design Air Liquide signed with Dangote in 2015, demonstrating trust in Air Liquide’s technology and the quality of the key equipment.

Domenico D’Elia, Vice-President and Chairman of Air Liquide Engineering & Construction, said, “We are proud to deliver our technology and the steam reformer packages for the large H2 production unit as part of this ambitious refinery project. Dangote’s confidence in selecting Air Liquide’s H2 and steam reforming technology reaffirms our leading position in this market segment, with more than 130 references around the globe “

The West African commercial industrial gas market was valued at around $300m in 2016, with 10% of sales attributable to refining clients. According to gasworld’s Senior Business Analyst, James Barr, a further $80m could be generated if all end-user owned industrial gas production facilities in the region were converted to onsite contracts.