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Improvement in the Russian oil industry

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A £ 9.3 million international consortium to make oil refining in Russia more efficient and environmentally sustainable has been given the green light this week.

The Skolkovo Foundation has given official approval for the establishment of a Center of Applied Research on Energy Efficient Heat Exchange and Catalysis (Project UNIHEAT), involving Imperial College London, the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis and BP. Researchers at the centre will run the UNIHEAT project, which will focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing heat loss in oil refining by up to 15% by improving refining operations, enhancing oil production processes, and reducing CO2 emissions. The centre will be funded by the Skolkovo Foundation and BP Russia.

Mr Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation said, ‘It is hard to imagine a more vivid example of efficient cooperation between business and science than the centre of applied research that we are establishing. This success is possible because of a close cooperation of global leaders in research on heat exchange and catalysis processes, Imperial College London and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, with active involvement from BP. I am sure that we will be able to evaluate the results of the centre in the not too distant future, which may lead to a significant decrease of energy losses in oil and gas refining.’

Mr David Peattie, Head of BP Russia added, ‘We are delighted to be involved with this very important research programme. Improving heat exchange technology is really important for the environmental efficiency of the oil processing industry. We are very pleased to team up with Skolkovo to fund Boreskov and Imperial, tow of the world’s leading research institutes in this key research programme.’

Professor Sandro Macchietto, Chair of the UNIHEAT Steering Committee and Joint Project Director, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London said, ‘Imperial has a strong track record of working with industry around the world to find innovative solutions to make the refining process more efficient and sustainable. This is one of the first projects of this kind in Russia to kick off. We hope it will lead to real efficiencies in the sector and help us to make the refining process as environmentally friendly as possible.’

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