Shell & AMG Recycling, UCI And Aramco To Build Plant To Produce Vanadium Pentoxide From Products Of Oil Refining

Shell & AMG Recycling BV (SARBV) and its partner, the United Company for Industry (UCI) have announced the signing of an agreement with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) under which SARBV and UCI shall construct and operate a world-class ‘Metals Reclamation Complex’ for the recovery and recycling of metals in Al-Jubail Industrial City, in Saudi Arabia.
The Agreement is in support of the Kingdom’s [Vision 2030] ambitions to accelerate energy transition, achieve sustainability aspirations and drive circular investment in the Kingdom, and in alignment with the Aramco Namaat Industrial Investments Program initiative that aims to build national champions, create a robust industrial ecosystem and introduce unique job opportunities.
“As the Kingdom and the GCC region are becoming globally pivotal for the supply and demand of the metal, vanadium, as well as the upgrading of the bottom-of-the-barrel, the Metals Reclamation Complex seeks to enable the development of a world-class and regional facility for processing refineries’ recyclable materials into valuable products.”
In support of this initiative, this agreement aims to be the initial phase of the Supercenter complex, with the processing of metal vanadium concentrate from the Jazan Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Plant, licensed by Shell, to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide; build a regional research and development center for testing a residue-upgrading catalyst; install a Lithium Vanadium Battery (LIVA); and install a vanadium electrolyte production plant, an important step in the development of a market for vanadium redox flow batteries in the Kingdom.
The Jazan IGCC facility carries out gasification of low-value residue feedstocks (vacuum residue feedstock from the main Jazan refinery) to produce syngas for power generation. Distillation of crude oil under reduced pressure produces the vacuum residue which is a solid.
The Agreement also addresses later phases of the visionary “In-Kingdom Supercenter” that include expanding recycling capabilities, as well as a regional hub for spent residue catalysts metals reclamation, and fresh residue-upgrading catalyst manufacturing. This unique combination of capabilities, all in one place, will provide an end-to-end solution for refiners, and aim to accelerate growing niche downstream industries in the Kingdom.
“Building upon Shell’s long and successful history with Aramco, we are very pleased to be working together to support the Kingdom’s [Vision 2030] energy transition ambitions. Sharing many sustainability goals, we are transforming our businesses and finding new opportunities to enable renewable energy, such as electricity generated by solar and wind power. The SARBV-UCI Aramco commitment will both contribute toward the Kingdom’s net zero 2060 target, while increasing the sustainability of the region’s current energy infrastructure with the reduction of waste materials production. Going beyond metals recycling, this project is the first step toward a supercenter that aims to support the region’s refining catalyst development, testing, and production. We look forward to continuing the energy transition journey together with SARBV-UCI and Aramco,” said Andy Gosse, President of Shell Catalysts & Technologies.
“We look forward to deepening our relationship with Aramco. The SARBV-UCI Aramco commitment to build the metal reclamation complex supports Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to accelerate energy transition, achieve sustainability goals and drive a new wave of investment in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s ambitious commitments to CO2 reduction will necessitate the acceleration of its sustainability goals under Vision 2030. SARBV-UCI’s closed loop circular recycling of refinery waste to produce materials that will enable increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix in the Kingdom, as well as improvements in energy efficiency for industrial users, which are all key drivers of the energy transition,” said Dr Heinz Schimmelbusch, Chairman and CEO of AMG.
“We are excited to be contributing to the Kingdom’s journey as a promoter of circularity and renewable energies. In collaboration with Aramco and our international partners AMG and Shell, we are combining critical capabilities to extract valuable metal compounds from our natural resources. It is energising to enable the development of clean energy storage innovations, as well as high tech metals value chains in the Kingdom through this investment. United Company for Industry is committed to investing in cutting-edge technologies and innovative materials. We consider this investment an important milestone in UCI’s path to becoming a recognized advanced materials supplier in the Kingdom and beyond,” said Sheikh Ibrahim Aljomaih, Chairman of UCI.