Saudi Aramco’s Innovation Shines at COP 21

Saudi Aramco demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the Kingdom’s drive to address climate challenges through maintaining a strong presence at the recent United Nation’s Climate Change Conference, known as COP 21. Representatives of 195 nations — including Saudi Arabia — reached an historic accord to work toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions, the culmination of more than 20 years of international efforts to address the climate change issue. Saudi Arabia’s negotiating team spent two weeks locked in intense discussions at the conference held in the Parc des Expositions in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget. GCC Pavilion Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources HE Ali I. Al-Naimi led the Saudi delegation at COP 21, and during the second week of the negotiations Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser visited the GCC Pavilion, a 1,000 square meter exhibition space designed and constructed by the company. As the negotiations progressed, all of the nations involved put forward their respective climate change management plans by showcasing initiatives and technologies that will contribute to the alleviation of climate challenges. The main attraction at the GCC Pavilion was the central interactive technology display, which showcased the Kingdom’s efforts in environmental protection and actions in addressing climate change. The technical content for the display was provided by the Kingdom’s main entities, including Saudi Aramco, SABIC, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the Arriyadh Development Authority, and ACWA Power. Exhibits The exhibits were categorized into four focus areas: technology; renewables; energy efficiency, and adaptation. Technological content emphasized the role that technology can play in addressing climate change through the development of solutions such as carbon capture utilization and storage, clean technology (transportation fuels) and flare minimization. The renewables area highlighted the development of solar, wind and geothermal sources of energy, while the energy efficiency segment featured the Kingdom’s drive in implementing a suite of initiatives such as increasing efficiency in operations, lead by example programs, saving energy and resources across the value chain, and the role of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center. Under the banner of “adaptation,” efforts designed to improve water management, reducing desertification, urban planning programs, and marine protection were showcased. Saudi Aramco has a proactive program for carbon management that looks into energy efficiency, solar power, and enhanced oil recovery, as well as research and development (R&D) into the capture and utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) — both in the mobile and stationary sectors. The company’s R&D now has a global reach with the opening of research centers in North America, Europe and Asia — 11 in all, six of which are involved in carbon management related research. In addition to the GCC Pavilion, Saudi Arabia had a 220 square meter exhibition booth at La Galerie comprising technological exhibits from the Kingdom’s main entities, led by Saudi Aramco. Innovative technologies showcased by the company at the KSA Technology Exhibit at La Galerie included:

  • An on-board carbon capture storage system demonstration vehicle
  • An auxiliary power unit mockup for trucks
  • Gasoline compression ignition engine mockup for enhanced efficiency in the transport sector
  • Robot for photovoltaic solar panel cleaning.
  • ‘Uthmaniyah CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery cross sectional scale model.

Al-Naimi, speaking during the second week of the negotiations in Paris, underscored Saudi Arabia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through mitigation and adaptation measures and a focus on developing game-changing technologies. “The Kingdom is committed to improving energy efficiency, the use of solar and wind energy and the sequestering and storage of carbon dioxide for use in improving oil extraction and the transition from liquid fuel to gas and the promotion of research and development in the field of clean energy,” he told other ministers and delegation leaders.