KAIST and Saudi Aramco, a global energy and petrochemicals enterprise, signed on February 20, 2013 the Master Research and Collaboration Agreement (the Agreement) on joint collaborations in research and development of carbon management between the two entities.
The Agreement was subsequently concluded upon the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between KAIST and Saudi Aramco, dated January 7th, 2013. In the Agreement, the two organizations specified terms and conditions necessary to conduct joint research projects and stipulated governing body for the operation of the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center.
KAIST and Saudi Aramco, a national oil company for Saudi Arabia, entered into the MOU, in which the two parties shared a common interest in addressing the issue of CO2 capture, CO2storage, CO2 avoidance using efficiency improvements, and converting CO2 into useful chemicals and other materials, and agreed to “create a major research center for CO2” in Korea.
As envisioned by the MOU and its subsequent agreement, KAIST and Saudi Aramco decided to operate an interim office of the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center at KAIST campus in Daejeon, Korea, pending the establishment of the research center. The full-fledged, independent research facility will be built at a location and during a period to be agreed between the two parties.
Following the signing of the Agreement, there was a celebration event taken place, including a signboard hanging ceremony for the interim research office. A 10-member delegation from Saudi Aramco, which was headed by Vice President of Engineering Services Samir Al-Tubayyeb, Dr. Nam-Pyo Suh, former president of KAIST, Vice President of Research at KAIST Kyung-Wook Paik, and senior representatives from Korean oil and petrochemical companies such as S-Oil, Lotte Chemicals, SK Innovation, and STX attended the event.
Kyung-Wook Paik, Vice President of Research at KAIST, said,
“In order to help find solutions to carbon management, KAIST and Saudi Aramco will facilitate to exchange each party’s complementary technical expertise, gain insight into new research fields, and have access to key sources of talent, while promoting innovation for technology solutions and contributing to the lifelong learning agenda of both organizations.”
Samir Al-Tubayyeb, Vice President of Engineering Services at Saudi Aramco, added that “As a world-leading oil and gas company, Saudi Aramco’s mission is to promote the continued use of safe, environmentally-friendly petroleum products with a vision to becoming a global leader in research and technology. Building a strong and cooperative relationship with KAIST in our endeavor to search for alternative ways to better utilization of fossil fuels will expedite the creation of opportunities to make the world environmentally safer and sustainable.”
KAIST and Saudi Aramco will each chip in a maximum of USD 5 million annually for the establishment and operation of the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center during the initial term of the Master Research and Collaboration Agreement, which starts in 2013 and continues through 2018.