ARC Forum Session: Emerging Technologies and Markets for Sustainability

Author photo: Gaven Simon
ByGaven Simon
Technology Trends

On day three of the ARC Forum, Gaven Simon, analyst on the energy transition team, hosted “The Emerging Technologies and Markets for Sustainability” session. This session was dedicated to identifying operational challenges, initiatives, and achieving sustainable growth, through successfully deploying emerging technologies. This session offered the opportunity to engage with individuals who are implementing changes from the ground level all the way to the executive suite. We heard from engineers, solution providers, account managers, and all individuals who play a role in the deployment of emerging technologies at a range of scales.

To begin, there were several questions posed to the audience to better understand the motivation behind the adoption of emerging technologies.

1. Rank the most effective pathways to sustainability

  • Mitigation

  • Efficiency

  • Responsibility

  • Circularity

  • Transparency

2. What are the largest contributors for companies to invest in emerging technologies?

  • Regulations

  • Operational optimization

  • Company growth

  • Cost savings

3. What are the biggest obstacles facing companies in the wake of the energy transition?

  • Technology

  • Inadequate data management

  • Budgetary concerns

  • Workforce/ skills

Prior to the forum, ARC conducted its annual “End User Technology, Digital, And Sustainability Survey”, which requested participants to rank their top 3 responses for each question. When survey participants were asked what technologies, they believed were to be the most impactful in the next 5 years, 30% of them included “clean energy technologies.” Additionally, when they were asked what motivates or drives them to address sustainability topics, over 30% selected “operational efficiency” and 24% selected “regulatory compliance.” This data showcases that end users are aware of the future impact of climate technologies and prioritize operational excellence while also being aware of regulatory measures.

To kick off the session, presentations were made to audience members from representatives of Saudi Aramco and Nalco Water.

Representing Saudi Aramco, Saeed Omary and Khalid Alamari shared their experiences implementing Yokogawa’s ISA 100 Wireless steam trap monitoring system at the Fadhili Gas plant. 

Key takeaways of the presentation include:

  • The Fadhili Gas plant had issues reducing excess steam and condensation and initial assumptions concluded that steam traps failed prematurely at high quantities.

  • After the implementation of the ISA 100, less than 20% of steam traps failed and the site achieved a 12-ton reduction in steam resources.

  • This successful implementation of this technology has led to future planning of standardizing wireless monitoring systems for all future projects.

Next, Anne Emberson, Nalco Water’s Vice President of Digital, presented “Climate Intelligence” a digitally enabled technology that provides feedback to facility operators on improvements they can make to improve energy efficiency.

Key takeaways of the presentation include:

  • Water is an essential part of hydrocarbon manufacturing from processing steam to cooling water systems, and water is continually flowing around the facility. Nalco Water has determined that roughly 35-47% of the energy transfers across as it passes through water.

  • Climate intelligence leverages Siemens digital twin technology and Nalco Waters industry water and process expertise to control water energy systems effectively and directly impact and measure decarbonization goals.

  • The technology generates actionable recommendations for informed decision making to address system resilience to steam and water quality. It increases value by minimizing operating costs and improving reliability all while reducing emissions.

Following the presentations, speakers took part in the panel portion of the session, which included an additional 3 outstanding individuals:

  • Sterling Allen, Business Development Manager with Siemens

  • Joshua Pitts, Co-Founder of Floodlight

  • Umer Sagheer, Account Manager at Yokogawa

Some of the questions that were raised include:

  • How do partnerships help foster growth and the development of emerging technologies?

  • What are the driving factors to adopt new technologies and break into emerging markets?

  • What lessons did your organization learn during the deployment process that might be valuable for others considering similar initiatives?

The session on “Emerging Technologies and Markets for Sustainability” was a huge success for all that were included and will continue in the years to come. Between the panel discussion, which included a wide variety of experienced individuals, and presentations that were brimming with information, the session was a great learning opportunity. The biggest takeaways are digital transformation and wireless monitoring are essential for managing emissions at facility sites. In both presentations, both technologies provided consistent and continuous data that was utilized to make educated decisions on operation improvements that resulted in a tangible decrease in energy usage. Operational efficiency will continue to be a key driving factor for deploying emerging technologies, and sustainability benefits will continue to be a key outcome.  

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