Saudi Aramco, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saudi Aramco Technologies, signed a Joint Development and Collaboration Agreement (JDCA) on Tuesday with U.S.-based Axens and U.K.-based TechnipFMC to accelerate the development and commercialization of the company's Catalytic Crude to Chemicals (CC2C) technology.
According to Saudi Aramco's press release, the CC2C technology converts crude oil directly to chemicals, which will eliminate several energy-intensive processes and create high-value product streams that produce larger quantities of chemicals while generating fewer emissions.
"The technology has the potential to significantly increase the efficiency and yield of chemicals production, converting more than 60 percent of a barrel of crude oil into chemicals," it said.
The agreement aims to achieve commercial readiness for the CC2C technology by 2021.
Saudi Aramco's CEO Amin H. Nasser described the partnership as another milestone in the company's effort to develop groundbreaking technology that maximizes the value of each barrel of crude oil.
"Oil will become increasingly more important as a feedstock in the production of petrochemicals. Saudi Aramco is leveraging its position as the world's oil powerhouse to capitalize on the strong growth potential for chemicals globally.
"Through the strategic partnership with Axens and TechnipFMC, we advance cutting-edge technology to meet the increasing demand for petrochemicals, and support our efforts to build a global chemicals business," he said.
Axens' chairman and CEO, Jean Sentenac, said that, according to the International Energy Agency, an additional 4 Mbpd of crude oil will have to be converted into petrochemicals by 2035 to meet demand.
"This is a unique opportunity to create this next generation technology that will be of great interest to the market for converting crude oil into petrochemicals," he added.
Stan Knez, president of Process Technology at TechnipFMC, said the company's solid position in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) technologies as well as down flow catalytic cracking experience would provide a strong foundation for this joint development.
"The CC2M technology will be an innovative approach for producing a full range of petrochemicals using crude oil as the feedstock. We are pleased to be teaming with Saudi Aramco and Axens in the effort to commercialize this process quickly and expand our technology portfolio," he added.
According to the statement, the innovative CC2C technology builds on the success of the proven high-severity fluid catalytic cracking (HS-FCC) technology, which Saudi Aramco co-developed with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and Japan-based JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, to directly convert crude oil to high-value chemicals.
Saudi Aramco, Axens, and TechnipFMC are all members of the HS-FCC technology Alliance. Axens and TechnipFMC are also the exclusive licensors of this technology and two of the leading providers of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry.
By Hale Turkes