Highlights in 2018
Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies
The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) was launched in January 2019 as a part of the 2030 Vision. The program is mandated to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub in promising growth. The program has a research, development, and innovation (R&DI) section that includes oil and gas R&DI including carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
Major innovation initiatives in 2018/19
- Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is currently developing a process to utilize CO2 to produce acrylic acid by catalytic coupling of CO2 and ethylene. The main advantages of this process are (i) the CO2 represents ~60% of the final product mass and (ii) it will lead to the avoidance of the feedstock loss, by over-oxidation, in the current commercial technology to produce acrylic acid via propylene oxidation.
- SABIC is currently developing a technology to produce hydrogen from water splitting. Solar H2 production from water could be the key to a sustainable energy economy with wide environmental, economic and social impacts. H2 is commercially made mainly from natural gas or coal reforming, where 8kg of CO2 is produced for every 1 kg of hydrogen made.
Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2018/19
Saudi Arabia is working with the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Norway to identify innovation opportunities in higher technology readiness levels that are of particular interest to industry partners. A workshop is being planned for mid-2019 with CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) experts from academia and industry partners in the oil and gas, power, and energy intensives industries to build and complement the IC3 CCUS report with technological challenges that have the potential to accelerated CCUS deployment.