Hydroprocessing

Global refinery catalyst market to benefit from increased oil refining capacity in developing nations, government mandates for greener fuel to drive the industry progression

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Increasing demand for reformulated gasoline has played a significant role in strengthening the refinery catalyst market, with stringent emission control regulations and environmental laws being implemented. Blended on the chemical level to burn more cleanly and efficiently than conventional fuels, reformulated gasoline is attributed with the benefit of reducing toxic pollutants and smog-formation in our air. The refinery catalyst industry is gradually aligning with the increased petroleum production resulting from the resurgence of oil & gas industry, in the process of stabilizing after a tremendous downfall earlier in the decade. With an attempt by major refineries worldwide to comply with fuel standards, achieve operational efficiency and enhance the fuel output with minimum emissions, the refinery catalyst market can soon be expected to achieve escalated consumption rates.

China Refinery Catalyst Market Size, by Type, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)
China Refinery Catalyst Market Size, by Type, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)

A key incentive towards the growth of the refinery catalyst industry is a global population that is multiplying exponentially, impelling the fuel demand for use in transportation & industrial power generation. Reportedly, the transportation sector, comprising of automobile, aviation and marine is responsible for more than 60% of the total fuel utilization. Considering the prediction by the United Nations that indicates reaching a global population of over 9.8 billion by the year 2050, one can only surmise the amount of resources that will be required to support the extensive energy needs of the future. With China and India being the most populated nations, the Asia-Pacific refinery catalyst market apportioned for over 30% of the overall industry owing to the cumulative reformulated fuel consumption. As these two countries are expected to remain the top two inhabited nations going forward as well and are introducing tighter legislations to curb emissions, the Asia-Pacific belt is slated to contribute enormously to the refinery catalyst market.

In an example showcasing the potential of Asian refining catalyst industry, ExxonMobil recently announced about its discussions regarding a multi-billion dollar expansion of its clean fuel outputs at the Singapore refinery. The Singapore complex is one of Exxon’s largest production site for fuel, lubricants and chemicals and the project is aimed at increasing its output of fuels that comply with the International Maritime Organization’s global sulphur limit. The venture demonstrates the outlook of international oil & gas corporations towards the promising Asia-Pacific market, giving a thrust to the refinery catalyst industry in the region.

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Another instance that envisions a growing refinery catalyst market is the cooperative venture between Indian Oil Company and Saudi Aramco, recently joined by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) which will buy 50% of Aramco’s share in the venture. The project is aimed at building a USD 44 billion refinery and petrochemical complex in the coastal city of Ratnagiri, India. The refinery is a part of the country’s target to achieve a refining capacity of over 9 million barrels by the end of 2030. Similar expansions can be observed across other Asian countries, where oil companies are working to cater the pumped up demand for fuel and also adhere to the environmental mandates, boosting the worldwide refinery catalyst market.

The expansion of refining capacity is anticipated to be at a faster pace in developing countries than in developed countries, as more efforts are being made by them to tap into available resources within their territories. According to the Kazakhstan government, the nation is planning to export surplus gasoline product to Asia and other nearby regions. Besides, the Shymkent Oil Refinery will have a fluid catalytic cracking unit installed by September to support the high octane gasoline productions, along with modernization at other oil plants. Needless to say, with smaller nations taking big leaps towards producing low-emission high-throughput fuel, the refinery catalyst market will be characterized by a renewed dynamism in the coming years.

As evident, the prospects of the refinery catalyst industry largely depend on the oil producing and refining capacity of regions, which explains why North America held the prominent 40% of the global share in 2017. Specifically, the U.S. is reported to have the highest refining capacity in the world with an ability to produce 18.5 million barrels per day.

The global refinery catalyst market is bursting with several corporations and oil services companies that enable the enrichment of crude oil or petroleum, with innovations to better the existing technologies being made. For instance, BASF catalysts declared the commercial launch of an evolved catalytic cracking catalyst, Boroflex, designed to optimize the bottoms upgrading and distillation yield of refineries. Owing to such developments in the field of refining processes and stricter norms to be implemented by government organizations, the refinery catalyst market is estimated to witness a CAGR of 3% from 2018 to 2025.

Author NamePankaj Singh

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