State-owned oil/chemical firm Saudi Aramco and Shell & AMG Recycling joint venture are to evaluate the feasibility of recycling gasification ash and reclamation of spent catalysts to expand the specialty vanadium market. In support of this initiative, Shell & AMG Recycling along with Shell Catalysts & Technologies, will explore the feasibility of building a catalyst manufacturing and recycling centre in Saudi Arabia.
This centre will enable Saudi Aramco to refine its crudes in an environmentally sustainable manner through the manufacturing of fresh residue upgrading catalysts required to convert heavy oil fractions into valuable products and recycling the resulting spent catalysts and gasification ash which are otherwise hazardous wastes. It will have the ability to make significant contributions toward the circular economy by bringing fresh catalyst and recycling technologies to the country, enabling the realisation of renewable energy and GHG emission reduction goals in the region.
An MOU related to the spent catalyst and gasification ash recycling project was exchanged among Mohammed A. Al-Shammary, Vice President, Procurement and Supply Chain Management of Saudi Aramco, and Andrew Crowe, Vice President and Country Chairman of Shell Saudi Arabia, on behalf of Andy Gosse, President of Shell Catalysts & Technologies; and Dr. Heinz C. Schimmelbusch, Chairman & CEO of AMG.
“AMG is privileged to be a partner in this ambitious project to build a vanadium recycling industry in The Kingdom. The concept is to turn oil refinery waste into a domestic resource for the production of vanadium, a critical alloy that improves the quality of infrastructure steel. The project advances the goals of a circular economy and is essential in achieving the societal benefits of reducing global CO2 emissions. In addition, the vanadium produced by the project can be used for grid-stabilisation batteries which will facilitate a more efficient use of renewable energy and in turn accelerate the fulfillment of The Kingdom’s CO2 reduction goals,” said Heinz C. Schimmelbusch.
“Shell is excited to continue our long history of collaborating with Saudi Aramco and bringing market leading technologies to The Kingdom,” said Andy Gosse, adding that “as the world continues its energy transition journey, these value-added investment opportunities will contribute towards maximising the benefits from the Kingdom’s natural resources and support The Kingdom’s ambitions towards lowering GHG emissions.
“These are critical elements as Saudi Aramco looks to maximize return from bottom of the barrel conversion and its oil to chemicals initiatives while importantly, supporting IKTVA’s goals of capturing value that produces long-term tangible benefits for The Kingdom,” he added.