• 1 Design for the circular economy —this means designing sustainable and effective processes, systems, assets and facilities.
Standardization and modularization are key circular design concepts that Aramco already implements. One example is the Midyan gas plant, which uses modular, skid-mounted structures rather than the usual stick-built approach, reducing construction material usage and creating significant cost savings.
• 2 Build circular supply chain — utilizing circular supply chains and reverse logistics contributes to closing material loops and minimizing waste creation.
In 2020 alone, our scrap-to-commodity program successfully recycled 220,000 drum containers and 84,000 tons of steel. Reintroducing these materials to local manufacturers as feedstocks eases the pressure on raw materials extraction and allowed us to recover over $30 million of value.
• 3 Reduce environmental impact —we focus on decarbonization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the conservation of precious water resources.
Our carbon capture project in Hawiyah NGL Recovery Plant minimizes CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and has so far prevented the emission of 3 million tons of CO2. This fits with the circular carbon economy approach that was endorsed by the G20 in 2020 to reduce, reuse, recycle and remove CO2 emissions. This CO2 can then be treated as a resource in itself, in processes such as enhanced oil recovery and concrete curing.
• 4 preserve and extend resources and asset life cycles —our lifecycle management programs seek to ensure full utilization of our equipment, improving their longevity by capturing opportunities to reuse, repair, upgrade, and redeploy assets.
One example is the recent upgrading and redeployment of 21 gas turbines instead of replacing them. This prevents demand for new raw materials to build and transport new equipment, as well as avoiding unnecessary capital expenditures.
• 5 Using regenerative and renewable resources— the idea is to maximize the deployment of renewable, regenerative and non-toxic resources, and to take less from the planet.
Our Midra business center uses solar energy through PV cells installed on the panels that shade the car parking area. This generates enough energy to completely power the building.
• 6 Turning waste into resources —there is more we can do with materials that are currently disposed of.
Among other examples, we take treated waste water from the company’s residential communities in Dhahran that has been rejected from drinking-water plants and reuse it for irrigation and to cool centralized air-conditioning plants, conserving billions of gallons per year of groundwater.
• 7 Adapt innovative technologies —we have built a state-of-the-art Fourth Industrial Revolution Center that serves as a hub for digital solutions, with a focus on process optimization, asset reliability, and operations efficiency—all of which are key aspects of our circular economy implementation.