Saudi Aramco announced it broke ground on the construction of a new, state-of-the-art research centre, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with an expected completion date of mid-2019.
The facility will allow Saudi Aramco to leverage its unique position within the R&D ecosystem at KAUST to accelerate the implementation of the company’s technology strategy. The facility will include laboratories and offices to support research in the areas of chemicals, intelligent systems, solar energy, reservoir engineering, computational modeling, and environmental protection.
“Saudi Aramco and KAUST’s joint research and development efforts, through collaboration and partnership, will help achieve the Kingdom’s strategic energy objectives and create business value in pursuit of the national objective of transition to a knowledge society, as enunciated in Vision 2030,” said Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, chairman of Saudi Aramco and vice-chairman of KAUST board of trustees.
“The groundbreaking marks a major milestone in the successful partnership between Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, for the benefit of the nation as a whole,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser. “A number of highly promising technologies have been produced here, such as the Saudi Aramco inspection robots, and research here has contributed to many patents.”
The new center will be an 11,300 square meter research facility, housing 132 scientists and researchers, aimed at supporting Saudi Aramco’s upstream and downstream research domains as well as environmental protection research efforts.
“This new facility is about expanding our research needs as a business. As part of our new technology strategy we are looking to enable our research domains through capitalizing on the world-renowned scientists, exceptional facilities, and international network of academic institutions affiliated with KAUST,” said Saudi Aramco chief technology officer Ahmad Khowaiter.
The facility is intended to integrate with the University community and foster strong networks with other leading R&D organizations focused on solar energy, chemicals, fuel technology, robotics, hydrocarbon recovery, computational modeling and the marine environment.
“These partnerships, including the one with KAUST, will be crucial to the company and national agenda for the next 15 years, and they are seen as much needed enablers to accelerate the successful delivery of technologies across the entire value chain of the energy industry,” said Aramco’s Nasser.