Downstream Excellence

Technology shines at inaugural Downstream awards event

A total of 46 employees representing all admin areas were recognized for their initiatives.

Technology shines at inaugural Downstream awards event

Aramco's senior vice president of Downstream Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani hosted Downstream’s inaugural Technology and Digital Excellence Award last week, to celebrate achievements across the business line. The event, held at the Technical Exchange Center, Dhahran, was attended in person and virtually by employees in the Kingdom and at Downstream affiliates in China and South Korea.


Two objectives

In his opening remarks, Al Qahtani emphasized that the ceremony had a two-fold objective, stating, “We have come together to shine a spotlight on the excellence happening in our organization, and to celebrate our journey toward becoming one of the world’s most digitalized companies. More than this, however — and far beyond the teams we honor today — I want these awards to be a catalyst for bold new thinking.”


Continuing, Al Qahtani stressed that the capabilities needed to realize such accomplishments are rooted in education. “I have often said that one of the things I enjoy most about working with universities such as KAUST or KFUPM, or technology ecosystems like the Dhahran Techno Valley, is seeing how innovation grows in the spaces between traditional disciplines – when fields overlap and connections are made,” he said. 


“This is where the Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place.” 


The event was timely. After adopting a new operating model earlier this year, the organization launched a business line-wide Transformation Program of its global asset portfolio which is expected to last for another one to two years. When completed, the program will have delivered technical, structural, organizational, and operational improvements across the board. 


A powerful transformation

“In so many ways, this Downstream organization is at the very epicenter of a powerful transformation,” said Al Qahtani.  


The Downstream organization is pushing the boundaries of what is possible…redefining the opportunities…and playing a crucial role in the future, not only of Saudi Aramco, but the future of the Kingdom.”
— Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani


Al Qahtani went on to observe that the challenge for Downstream is to see and recognize the opportunities that can come from connections across different technologies and business lines, whether, for example, it be between advanced analytics and maintenance, or between robotics and back office operations.  


“Our awards today recognize teams who have seen such opportunities…and by highlighting their achievements, we invite everyone, across the entire organization to ask how we can accelerate technology deployment, improve business competitiveness and continue to accelerate new avenues of opportunity,” Al Qahtani said.

11 departments recognized
46 employees recognized
• Advanced Chemicals trading analytics
• Automatic pipe measure system
• Cyclemax catalyst formulation
• Diesel quality enhancement
• Fanar scheduling optimization
• iPower center
• MENA wastewater treatment
• Pipelines management center
• HSFCC downflow reactor
• Smart dewatering

A total of 46 employees representing all admin areas were recognized for the following team initiatives:   


Global Manufacturing and Fuels & Lubricants

Smart Dewatering – Riyadh Refinery Department

Built on smart sensors, smart dewatering is an advanced version of Saudi Aramco’s Sound Velocity Dewatering System, which reduces hydrocarbon losses and improves the quality of crude oil.

Awardees: Abdulrahman A. Fadhel, Fawaz Al Hadlaq, Omar Al Zayed, Fawaz Al Sahan


Diesel Quality Enhancement – Ras Tanura Refinery Department

By enhancing its diesel dewatering capability, the Ras Tanura Refinery prevented degradation of jet fuel quality, eliminated truck hauling demand the Dhahran and North Riyadh bulk plants, and increased service life from three days to 180 days. 

Awardees: Yousif Al Ali, Ibrahim B. Althaali, Amani S. Al Dhurais, Mohammed I. Ismael, Shyam N. Babu 


Cyclemax Catalyst Formulation – Yanbu’ Refinery Department

The cyclemax catalyst technology regenerates spent catalysts and recycles them back to platformer reactors in order to increase throughput at the Yanbu’ Refinery’s diesel hydrotreater unit.

Awardees: Abdulatif S. Alshami, Abdullah S. Harbi, Majed A. Mozaini, Fares M. Al Rowaili, Naif Harbi, Raad B. Mulla


HSFCC Downflow Reactor – S-OIL Company, South Korea

The S-OIL team installed innovated internals during the first turnaround and inspection of 2020 for the first commercial (76 MBD) HSFCC unit worldwide (developed through a decades long collaboration between Aramco, KFUPM, JX, Axens and TechnipFMC). The initiative, which increased unit conversion and propylene yield, significantly improved the company’s annual profits.

Awardees: Hussain Al Qahtani, Lee Hyeok-Jin, Jeon Hak-Jun, Kim Dong-Woon  


Pipelines, Distribution & Terminals

Pipelines Management Center – Northern Area Pipeline Department and Project & Technical Support Department

Through this highly integrated and centralized monitoring center, PD&T is able to ascertain operational parameters of pipelines throughout the Kingdom. This capability will enhance the efficiency, safety, and reliability of the Company’s vast pipeline network.

Awardees: Khalid Alghamdi, Walid Kulaibi, Hateem A. Ghamdi, Rami S. Khaldi, Abdullah H. Tuwaijri  


MENA Wastewater Treatment – Eastern Region Terminal Department

The MENA technology treats evaporation pond water for discharge to the marine environment. This technology and process improves the availability of crude tank water disposal facilities and reduces environmental impact.

Awardees: Abdulmohsen S. Rabeeah, Justin M. Shewchuk 


Power Systems

Monitoring and Diagnostic Center (iPower) – Power Systems Engineering Department

The Diagnostic Center is home to advanced AI solutions and focuses on the digitalization of assets, operations, and processes. It has already succeeded in improving plant efficiency at Manifa and Yanbu’, photo voltaic power generation at Abqaiq, and has prevented unplanned unit outages at Wasit and Yanbu’.

Awardees: Jubran A. Refaee, Husain BinAli, Fowzan Al Fowzan, Sorin Capet, Wayel Oweedah, Thamer Bahmaid


Marketing, Sales & Supply Planning

Automatic Pipe Dimension Measurement System – Aramco Asia

Performing a full range of dimensional measurements with 3D laser sensors, this robotic inspection technology generates quantitative records with precise data and eliminates risk of site reworks and manufactured pipe recalls.

Awardees: Mushabab Al Qahtani, Mohammed W. Al Qahtani, Yasser Al Subhi, Hani Al Baba, Rashid Al Hajri, Pradipta Paul



Advanced Visual Analytics for Chemicals Trading – Aramco Chemicals Company

The use of big data analytics has brought valuable insights in chemicals trading, which is improving forecasting in price and demand.

Awardees: Fouad A. Rammah, Abdulrahman Al Amer, Laith Al Shebel


Aramco Trading Company

Fanar Scheduling Optimization – Aramco Trading Company

Built on the MAANA platform, this enterprise-class intelligent application leverages big data analytics to optimize ship scheduling. With this advanced knowledge platform, ATC has already reduced its schedule planning time by 80% while maintaining world-class reliability. MAANA is an AI platform that Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) has invested in. 

Awardees: Fahad Al Fallaj, Awad Al Anezi, Sultan Al Sultan, Suliman Al Zahrani, and Ahmed Al Jafary



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