HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry inaugurated a new research and development water laboratory during Shell’s premier technology event, Innovation Open House, held at Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC) on 7 November 2013.  

The Shell Innovation Open House showcased innovative deployment of cutting-edge technologies that provide solutions to the world’s energy needs. The event featured key members of the energy industry, academia and the R&D community, including Faisal Al Suwaidi, President of R&D at Qatar Foundation, and Wael Sawan, Managing Director & Chairman of Qatar Shell.

The Water laboratory will provide technical support to Shell and Qatar Petroleum, especially to the Pearl GTL plant to continuously improve the efficiency, robustness, reliability and potentially reduce the footprint of water treatment within the plant.  In addition, it will contribute to human capacity development of young Qatari nationals through internships and technical training.

Speaking at the opening of the Innovation Open House, HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, said:

This important landmark will help reduce the water foot-print, and will further enhance QP and Shell’s technical understanding of how to improve the efficiency of water treating technologies. Today, the entire Middle East region is tackling one of the greatest emerging R&D challenges: that of the efficient use and re-use of water. New approaches and advanced technologies are necessary to help us reduce the amount of water we need in industrial operations, and to find innovative ways to re-use and recycle water from industrial processes.’

The two-day event also included the second Qatar Shell Dialogues, featuring interactive discussions and live polling among key members of the energy industry on how to foster open collaborations to accelerate new innovations. The third dialogue will take place in January at the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Doha.

The Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell, Wael Sawan, said:

Qatar plays a central role in Shell’s overall group technology strategy through our world-class R&D programme based at Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre…the water-food-energy nexus is more front-of-mind in both the industrial and the R&D communities than ever before. There is much research to be done to improve the efficiency of water treatment technologies; and that is why we are proud to open the Water laboratory here at QSRTC.’

QSRTC, the first tenant to open at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, has a number of R&D programmes that contribute to enhancing water reuse. In partnership with the Ministry of Environment, QSRTC runs an experimental farm in Rawdat Al Faras in Qatar, evaluating the potential for industrial water to be used to sustain plant growth.

Commenting on the significance of Shell’s Innovation Open House, which supports Qatar’s development, Al Suwaidi, said:

We all share a joint commitment to supporting research in Energy and Environment, a key theme in Qatar’s National Research Strategy, which Qatar Foundation is pioneering. We recognise that close collaboration between the R&D community, academia and industry partners is essential to remain steadfast in our support to the Qatar National Research Strategy and the Qatar National Vision 2030 ambition to foster a knowledge-based economy.’

‘The innovative solutions that we discover through initiatives such as those undertaken by Shell will be applicable to challenges that we face, not only in Qatar but in countries worldwide.’

Through its research arm QSRTC, Qatar Shell has committed to spending US$100 million on research and development over a ten-year period. QSRTC aligns itself with the Qatar National Research Strategy to explore cutting-edge solutions in the key areas of energy and environment under three themes: ‘Unlocking the Subsurface’, ‘Breakthrough Products’ and ‘Water Solutions’.