SAGIA, Shell and AMG to build spent residue upgrading catalyst recycling facility in Saudi Arabia

SAGIA, Shell and AMG to build spent residue upgrading catalyst recycling facility in Saudi Arabia
Published: 22 November 2019 - 4 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Shell Overseas Services (Shell) and Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to evaluate the potential for construction and operation, subject to regulatory approvals, of a spent catalyst recycling facility in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The signing took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The MoU was exchanged among Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA; Andy Gosse, president of Shell Catalysts & Technologies; and Dr Heinz C Schimmelbusch, chairman and CEO of AMG.

The MoU will allow SAGIA, Shell and AMG to explore the feasibility of building a world-class facility to reclaim valuable metals by recycling spent residue upgrading catalysts generated by refineries in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. Residue upgrading catalysts help refineries upgrade the bottom of the oil barrel into more valuable products, including generation of petrochemical feedstocks. Such a facility would help maximise the benefits from the kingdom’s natural resources while addressing the need to provide environmentally responsible management of spent residue upgrading catalysts.

We are pleased to sign this MoU with AMG and Shell for the safe, efficient and clean processing of the growing quantities of spent catalysts in the region and recovery of vanadium and other precious metals for utilisation in specialty steel production,” said Al-Omar.

“This MoU reflects Shell’s interest in growing its presence in Saudi Arabia and serving its clients locally and regionally. New global fuel regulations, combined with the growing trend of crude-oil-to-chemicals production, are leading refiners to develop sustainable waste management plans for their spent catalyst. We look to have meaningful opportunities to build strong relationships with local and international participants,” said Gosse.

“AMG is excited to provide cutting-edge recycling technologies for treating refinery waste in Saudi Arabia. The recycling process also allows for the extraction of specialty alloys from spent catalysts for use by the steel market. Reclamation of these alloys in the recycling process allows steel manufacturers to benefit from a low-CO2 method of sourcing the alloys as an alternative to mining. It is also the basis for building stationary batteries used for grid stabilisation for the growing renewable energy sector in Saudi Arabia. All of that is in line with AMG’s vision to enable CO2 reduction through its technologies and products,” said Schimmelbusch.

The MoU will provide a framework for conducting the required studies to assess the commercial feasibility of this proposed project and, subject to regulatory approvals, the potential construction of a spent catalyst recycling facility in the region.

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