On Monday November 12, 2018,the Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dr. Sahel N. Abduljauwad, inaugurated the 28th annual Saudi-Japanese symposium on the latest development technologies in petroleum refining and petrochemicals, organized by KFUPM in cooperation with Saudi Aramco, Japan Petroleum Institute (JPI) and Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP).
The symposium aims to discuss, exchange knowledge and expertise in research techniques used in the production of petroleum products and various chemicals, especially with regard to the latest technology in the production of clean fuels, hydrogen and petrochemicals as well as strengthening the relationship between KFUPM and Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector.
More than 150 researchers participated in the symposium including faculty members, students and scientists from various academic disciplines as well as industrial experts representing the refining industry, national petrochemicals, research and development centers in Saudi Aramco, SABIC and related private sector companies.
In his opening speech, the Rector of KFUPM, Dr. Sahel Abduljauwad commended the continuity of the symposium held annually over the past 28 years, which reflects the strong relationship with Japan and the promotion of innovative research between academia and industry.
Dr. Abduljauwad pointed to the great expansion witnessed by the petrochemicals industry and oil refining in the Kingdom and the accompanying research, development and integration in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
In addition to teaching, KFUPM has a passion for research, development, innovation and entrepreneurship. The rector noted KFUPM has become one of the top ten universities in the world in terms of the number of patents.
The Innovation Center is currently expanding its commercial applications and benefits from these innovations industrially.
KFUPM is proud of its cooperation with Saudi Aramco and SABIC in conducting important research and in providing solutions to the challenges facing the national industry.
KFUPM is currently cooperating with Saudi Aramco to establish a research center for downstream industries for the production of chemicals, especially those derived from petroleum.
Saudi Aramco Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Ahmad Al Khowaiter discussed the refining technology that was developed with KFUPM and Japan and is being used in Aramco’s joint venture with S-oil in South Korea.
Mr. Al Khowaiter touched upon the issues of low-carbon intensity in oil production, the need to do more to reduce energy consumption in the petrochemical industry and the results of research low-carbon fuels in internal combustion engines for cars.
He referred to the thermal cracking process, developed by Saudi Aramco, as an effective way for the direct conversion of oil to chemicals, one that is currently being further developed as well as the process of converting crude oil into chemicals with SABIC.
He talked about future refineries as a source of petrochemical products with low amounts of fuel.
The Managing Director of the Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP), Mr. Eiji Hiraoka, and the President of the Japan Petroleum Institute (JPI), Koichi Iguchi thanked KFUPM and Saudi Aramco for holding the symposium, highlighting the importance of the topics addressed by the speakers that relate to the petroleum industry in the Kingdom and Japan. Mr. Eiji Hiraoka and Mr. Koichi Iguchi highlighted the desire of the Japanese side for technical cooperation related to research projects and joint studies with Saudi Aramco and KFUPM.
Dr. Hassan Saeed Alasiri, director of the center for refining and petrochemicals at KFUPM, noted that the symposium included twenty-four technical lectures on hydrogen energy, desulphurization from heavy petroleum products, the production of aromatic petrochemicals, the numerical modeling of reactions, the production of polymers and solar thermal storage materialsand the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in research and development.
Dr. Alasiri stated that the lecturers are professors and researchers from Saudi Aramco, KFUPM, SABIC, KAUST, Honeywell UOP in addition to a number of Japanese specialists from the universities of Waseda, Hiroshima and Hokkaido, Japanese Petroleum Institute (JPI) and Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP).