A partner in the UAE’s drive to decarbonise Honeywell Mohammed-MOHAISEN

Every asset we cover for ADNOC has an improved efficiency rate, which translated at scale represents millions of dollars in value.

Mohammed MOHAISEN President and CEO for the Middle East and North Africa HONEYWELL

A partner in the UAE’s drive to decarbonise

May 24, 2023

Mohammed Mohaisen, president and CEO for the Middle East and North Africa at Honeywell, talks to The Energy Year about the importance of public-private collaboration for reaching the UAE’s sustainability goals and the company’s energy transition solutions. Honeywell is a global technology company driving digital transformation across key industries including energy.

How does Honeywell approach digitalisation and sustainability in the post-pandemic era?
The pandemic was a key driver shaping the change in direction of both the government and private companies. Consequently, the areas of digital transformation and energy transition became more relevant than ever. We approached this change as an opportunity, seeking the gaps and coming up with solutions to address the new environment the energy industry was in.
As a leading technology provider, we are fully engaged with digitalisation and sustainability as these go hand in hand as the drivers of the energy industry. Digitalisation is the first step to becoming more sustainable. We are experts in control technology, knowing how systems, operations, and processes work. We compile and interpret data to understand how it reflects the healthiness and efficiency of any given operation and bring solutions that contribute to its sustainability. This means that one cannot decouple sustainability from digitalisation.

How important is public-private collaboration for reaching the UAE’s ambitious sustainability goals?
The UAE has declared 2023 to be the “Year of Sustainability.” The country is pursuing an energy mix driven by both hydrocarbons and renewables. It is eager to achieve net zero by 2050, and targets reducing the carbon footprint from its power generation by 70%. All eyes are on the means used to materialise this ambitious quest. Partnerships are essential in this mission, and ADNOC will greatly rely on international partners and their experience. For example, Honeywell was part of the Hydrogen Steering Committee, which aims to accelerate the hydrogen ecosystem and energy transition.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is also putting in efforts to drive sustainable and green initiatives in the energy sector. They are channelling Industry 4.0 into the industry through ADNOC, but also into the UAE’s industrial sector.
The government is clearly leading the way for the energy transition, and relies on private companies such as Honeywell to help achieve it. Thus private-public collaboration is essential to reach common goals. In a sense, the ecosystem has to be connected – government, the private sector and technology providers – because you need to have the regulatory framework and endorsement of the rules to be able to deploy those technologies.


Tell us about the long-term predictive maintenance agreement you’ve secured with ADNOC.
We have been in the UAE for many decades, serving as an integral part of its well-functioning industry. In ADNOC, for instance, we have our controls and processes working across most of their operations.
At the end of 2019, we embarked on one of the largest predictive maintenance projects in the industry with ADNOC. This milestone is a long-term digital transformation agreement where we will carry out predictive maintenance for 10 years on a variety of assets owned by ADNOC – from upstream to downstream, rotating equipment to static equipment, from E&P platforms to refineries.
By using a state-of-the-art asset monitoring and predictive analytics platform, we can collect all the data, do the required analytics, and come up with the recommendations needed. This technology allows one to follow and analyse the behaviour of equipment through the data, knowing when downtimes are expected, and thus being able to intervene early. Moreover, this platform uses a combination of machine learning, digital twins and predictive maintenance to maximise the asset efficiency and integrity across ADNOC’s operations. Every asset we cover has an improved efficiency rate, which translated at scale represents millions of dollars in value. Year by year, we apply different technologies to enhance operational performance and add further value to ADNOC.

What energy transition solutions and technologies are you bringing to the table?
A total of 60% of Honeywell’s R&D is dedicated to technologies that improve environmental and social outcomes for our customers. We strongly believe that digitisation is the starting journey of sustainability and we have diverse technologies that we offer to the industry. These go from carbon capture (CC) solutions that include CC solvents and modular CC units, to hydrogen – especially on the purification side. Our Honeywell H2 Solutions include hydrogen control systems, as well as other solutions related to blue and green hydrogen.
We are also implementing Ecofining technology to produce biofuels, which lowers the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 50-80%. We are actually a key technology producer for the development of sustainable aviation fuel. In February 2023, Emirates conducted its first demonstration flight on a Boeing 777-300ER, powering one of its engines and its Honeywell Auxiliary Power Unit with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). We also have an agreement with United Airlines in the US on sustainable fuel.
Lastly, we are playing a big role in battery storage. We have existing battery storage solutions, and we are developing more complex solutions such as flow batteries. These will be developed at utility scale, and will be commercialised as we progress. We also have smart metering solutions and micro-grid control solutions, among many others.

What importance does natural gas have for Honeywell moving forwards?
Natural gas will continue to be a strong pillar of the energy transition. We cannot ignore the fact that the UAE’s economy is dependent on hydrocarbons. The country has taken very bold steps when seeking for a more diverse energy mix, and natural gas will become predominant. This is clear in their aim to achieve gas self-sufficiency by 2030. Moreover, gas has become extremely important given the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In Honeywell UOP, we have expertise in gas processing solutions, offering technologies that focus on gas treating, contaminant removal, natural gas liquids recovery and liquefaction to help maximise the value of gas streams. In addition, through UOP we provide high-quality modular plants with low costs and rapid project schedules.
In this regard, we offer different modular gas units such as modular NGL recovery, modular gas treating, modular LNG processing and modular sulphur recovery, as well as different offshore modular solutions. We see the gas space as an opportunity and we have the technology to apply it to the different developments in the country and the region.

How important is the UAE and the Middle East region in Honeywell’s growth portfolio?
We are continuously developing our technology to be able to adapt quickly to where the market is going, without ignoring the fact that we want it to be capable of supporting broad sustainability objectives. Sustainability is at our core, and we aim to become carbon neutral in our facilities and operations by 2035. We keep our R&D focused on being sustainable and efficient, which is what the market demands.
To this end, we have our Honeywell Innovation Center in Masdar City, which is a true example of advanced digitalisation in the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector. We are bringing the best and the latest technology to serve not only the UAE market but also the region and globally. This centre is also key to our ICV [in-country value] commitment and the overall value we bring to the country, including technology transfer and the digitalisation drive. We see the UAE and the Middle East as one of the strongest growth regions globally. We are determined to capitalise on the region’s opportunities.

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