25th Anniversary of Saudi-Japan Symposium “Catalysts in Petroleum Refining & Petrochemicals” at KFUPM

News Date : 14/12/2015




KFUPM, Saudi Aramco, Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP), and the Japan Petroleum Institute (JPI), Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP) celebrated the 25th silver jubilee anniversary of the Saudi-Japan symposium on “Catalysts in Petroleum Refining & Petrochemicals” held at KFUPM. The year 2015 marks also the 60th years since our two friendly countries have initiated their diplomatic ties. The symposium has become an important event in catalysis that attracts local participants from academia and industry. 


H.E. Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, Rector of KFUPM stated that this year’s symposium is quite special as it is the 25th event in the series of successful symposia which played key role in enhancing Saudi-Japan research cooperation in catalyst development. Local participation has grown rapidly and participants are highly appreciative of the distinguished panel of speakers from academia and industry. The two countries have strong and enduring relationship in the energy field, and they are stepping up their cooperation in cultural, education, renewable energy and other sectors. I would like to note here that the commercialization of HS-FCC technology at one of Saudi Aramco’s joint venture integrated refinery is a landmark for our fruitful collaboration. 


H.E. Mr. Norihiro Okuda Japan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia extended his hearty congratulations to KFUPM, Saudi Aramco, JCCP and JPI on the occasion of 25th anniversary of the Symposium. He congratulated the distinguished professors and researchers who have contributed to the joint research program on their successful efforts that have led to the important event. He acknowledged the excellent level of education and research that KFUPM has achieved so far. The Embassy looks forward to more cooperation between KFUPM and Japanese relevant institutions in a variety of areas including industry and science. 

Mr. Ahmed Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Aramco said that this year’s symposium comes on the heels of two great successes and a challenge. One is a long awaited achievement that we need to celebrate the commercialization of the HS-FCC process and learn from as we forge ahead, while the other is a challenge we need to embrace and address the climate change issue at the broader oil and gas industry level. In fact, the master gas system built by Saudi Aranco has already prevented the emissions of over 80 gigatons of CO2 since its inception. With chemistry and engineering, we can do it again. He reiterated that this partnership can take on this challenge and can contribute solutions.


Mr. Eiji Hiraoka, Senior Executive Director of JCCP said that he strongly believes that cooperation is a valuable asset toward future development of both countries. The joint Symposium was first held in 1992, which is also the year that JCCP started technical cooperation programs. Ever after, JCCP has been implementing many joint technical cooperation projects in collaboration with KFUPM and Saudi Aramco. The new framework of cooperation between four parties, that is Saudi Aramco, KFUPM, JPI and JCCP will surely play a vital role to enhance and refine the technical cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Dr. Wataru Ueda, president of JPI said that during the G20 Summit in Turkey, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan while meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz stated that Saudi Arabia is the most important country for Japan. The two sides shared the view that they will strengthen cooperation towards the stability of the Middle East region. Our technical cooperation in the past nearly 25 years is one of the typical examples of the cooperative relationship between the two countries and we would like to further strengthen our relationship, constituting an important element of the strategic partnership between our two countries.


Dr. Sulaiman Al-Khattaf, Director of Center for Refining & Petrochemicals, said “the symposium has played an important role to promote research cooperation by exchanging information and ideas on current developments in science and technology related to catalysts for petroleum refining and petrochemicals.  It has led to several joint research projects between KFUPM and Japanese research organizations. The presentations featured technical papers highlighting topics related to the activation of light alkanes, aromatics,  chemicals from CO2, olefins, photo-catalysis, fuel upgrade, carbenes, membranes and polyolefins. Among the distinguished speakers from Japan, we have experts from the universities of Kanagawa, Hokkaido, Shibaura and Tottori as well as from JX Nippon and Cosmo Oil.  We have also highly-cited KFUPM chair professors from the Universities of Valencia and Zaragoza, Spain and from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Republic. For local participation, we have distinguished speakers from Saudi Aramco, KAUST and various departments and centers at KFUPM. For more information and proceedings, pls. visit