By Michael Eboh
Abuja—The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, yesterday, said it was working with some engineers and researchers to halt the importation of refining catalysts to address one of the major challenges hindering the effectiveness of the country’s refineries.
Catalysts are critical materials in the crude oil refining process.
It is a substance that aids in the conversion of petroleum refinery naphthas into high-octane liquid products. It is used to produce a large majority of gasoline products through the refining process.
Speaking at the 2017/2018 PTDF annual oil and gas research grant competition close out seminar in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr. Bello Gusau, said during a fact-finding visit to the Kaduna Refinery, along with some industry stakeholders, it was discovered that sourcing catalysts was a major challenge for the refinery.
According to him, it was discovered that the refinery was lamenting about the high cost of importing refining catalysts and its attendant effect on its overall operations.
He said, “Hitherto, this country has been importing catalysts for refining processes and one of our researchers have developed a Zeolite Catalyst for the purposes of import substitution and using 100 per cent local materials. That is one of the issues that would be presented. I am happy to note that this is one of the issues that we would be tackling here today.”
He noted that this was among the mandate of the PTDF, explaining that the research grant competition was aimed at looking at congruent and empirical solutions to the basic challenges and problems of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Also speaking, Mr. Olajide Adebulehin, General Manager, Strategic Planning, said the PTDF was sponsoring research activities in relevant fields in the oil and gas industry that would be productive and very important, as well as increase production in the petroleum industry.
He said, “We are moving away from academic research and that is why we have assembled all the eminent academicians and former professionals in the industry. We have given the grants; they have done a lot of work and they are presenting and closing out the work for this research cycle.
“In the oil and gas industry, research and development is very critical; that is what we need for the future growth of the industry.”