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DCR Pilot Plant at University of Sohar opens


W R Grace, a global leader in refining technologies and specialty chemicals, and Sohar University jointly launched DCR Pilot Plant at University of Sohar on Thursday. The plant is part of a refining catalyst research lab located at the university.

The lab was inaugurated by Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Minister for Higher Education, Research & Innovation.

“OQ, Sohar University and Grace have a long-standing collaboration providing value to all stakeholders. The DCR Pilot Plant is a realization of this partnership and fulfills a key ICV initiative in line with Oman’s and OQ’s values,” said Kamil Al Shanfari, Managing Director OQ RPI & Plastics.

The DCR Pilot Plant and Ecat Lab in which it operates are 100 per cent staffed by Omani nationals, of whom 75 per cent are women.

The Grace DCR Pilot Plant is a proprietary circulating riser pilot Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit and the leading, commercially available technology for small-scale FCC pilot units. It will help simulate refinery operating conditions and analyse refining feedstocks to allow Oman energy company OQ and other regional refiners to maximise value from existing and new feeds.

This project, which is the result of a 15-year partnership between Grace, Sohar University and OQ, is an important part of Oman Vision 2040 initiative, which aims to harness and develop Omani talent and enhance scientific innovation.

“This collaboration is the first of its kind in the Middle East and reflects the perfect synergy between Grace, Sohar University and OQ,” said Bhavesh Patel, Chief Executive Officer. “It will become a hub for world-class catalyst research to benefit our partners and the industry as a whole.”

As of today, 34 pilot plants have been licensed worldwide by major energy and petrochemical companies as well as research institutions. More than one hundred scientific and technical articles have been published based on data from DCR pilot plants.

The DCR Pilot Plant mimics processes present in commercial FCC operation and can operate at conditions outside of "typical" FCC conditions to analyze feedstocks. Oman energy company OQ and other regional refiners are able to maximize value from existing, new and unconventional feeds by conducting research using a pilot plant.

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