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Albemarle reinforces business strategy

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As one of the market leaders in hydroprocessing catalysts, Albemarle is reinforcing its business strategy in hydrotreating to become even more focused on technology development and catalyst performance.

With recent volatility in oil prices, the refining industry's biggest challenge is to optimise profitability of unit operations, maximising returns. "We believe we are in the best position to optimise our customers' hydroprocessing unit operations. By not being tied to any specific license agreements, our unique STARS® portfolio and Nebula® bulk catalyst can maximise profitability for refiners," said Silvio Ghyoot, Albemarle's Refining Solutions President.

Nebula® is Albemarle's bulk metal catalyst technology, developed jointly by Albemarle and ExxonMobil. Nebula was commercialised 10 years ago. It is the highest activity hydrotreating catalyst available for many hydroprocessing applications and offers at least twice the activity of traditional catalysts. Today, more than 60 refineries are employing Nebula with over 130 successful unit cycles. In a proprietary STAX® combination with STARS catalyst, the Nebula catalyst unleashes performance and boosts profit margins of both hydrocrackers and distillate hydrotreating units around the globe.

Albemarle's successful STARS hydrotreating catalyst product line was recently expanded to three new grades, demonstrating unparalleled performance under the most challenging process conditions: KF 870 STARS for hydrocracking pretreat applications, KF 880 STARS for medium to high pressure middle distillate hydrotreaters, and KF 780 STARS, the newest all around catalyst for low pressure hydrotreating applications.

In order to reinforce this business strategy, Albemarle is ending its alliance with Honeywell UOP that began in 2006. Going forward, Albemarle is committed to working hand in hand with customers to maximise their unit operations, while also completing projects initiated under the Honeywell UOP alliance.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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