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PETRONAS, Curtin University Enter Into Research Partnership To Address Corrosion Under Insulation

2022 Media Release - 22 Jun

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 June 2022 – PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd (PRSB) and Australia’s Curtin University have recently entered into a research partnership to jointly address one of the costliest forms of corrosion in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

In line with both parties’ sustainability goals, the collaboration strives to discover innovative solutions for corrosion mitigation to reduce carbon footprint and operational expenditure.

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is often said to be among the costliest forms of corrosion in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is often said to be among the costliest forms of corrosion in the industry. Studies have shown that the petrochemical industry spends about 10 per cent of its total maintenance and repair budget on piping systems and pressure vessels for insulation-related corrosion.

The research partnership involves cross-disciplinary experts from PRSB and Curtin Corrosion Centre based in the Western Australia School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering as well as the School of Molecular and Life Sciences.

(From left) Dr. Azmi Mohammed Nor, PETRONAS Principal Scientist (R&D Corrosion) who is also the joint project’s technical advisor and other researchers, Dr. M Shamsul Farid Samsudin and Soh Wei Kian at PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.

The project’s technical advisor and PETRONAS Principal Scientist (R&D Corrosion) Dr. Azmi Mohammed Nor said, “Collaboration between industry and academics is key to accelerating innovation and progress in technology, such that both sides benefit from opportunities to work on relevant technologies and apply solutions in the real world.

“CUI is one of the industry's major material challenges. The research and development of advanced coating materials is believed to be the best approach to address the issue, while reducing operations and maintenance costs, as well as unscheduled shutdowns in the long run,” added Dr. Azmi.

(From left) Dr. Kod Pojtanabuntoeng, Lead Researcher at Curtin Corrosion Center and other researchers in the team, Dr. Nicholas Tan, Dr. Ibukun Oluwoye, and Prof. Andrew Lowe.

Lead researcher, Dr. Kod Pojtanabuntoeng from Curtin Corrosion Centre said, both parties would develop new and innovative materials to mitigate the recurring and costly corrosion related to insulation.

“The team will work to develop an advanced coating with insulation properties that can replace traditional insulation. This coating with insulation properties offers potentially significant benefits such as detecting corrosion easier and quicker, while reducing manpower and improving efficiencies for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries,” said Dr. Pojtanabuntoeng.

Addressing this form of corrosion also has direct environmental benefits, including eliminating the need to replace steels, reducing energy loss while maintaining process temperatures and preventing the leakage of harmful and toxic chemicals into the environment.

PETRONAS places high emphasis in research and development of advanced materials, which are used to strengthen asset integrity, extend assets’ service life, and reduce carbon footprint. Believing in the strength of synergy, PETRONAS has long-established collaborations with both local and foreign universities while continuing to expand its network of academic partnerships to drive mutual progress.

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About Petroliam Nasional Berhad
Sustainability is at the core of what we do as we harness the good in energy to elevate and enrich lives. People are our strength and partners for growth, driving our passion for innovation to progress towards the future of energy sustainability.

About Curtin University
Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest university, with more than 59,000 students. In addition to the University’s main campus in Perth, Curtin also has a major regional campus in Kalgoorlie, and a campus in Midland, as well as four global campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius. Curtin staff and students come from Australia and 100 other countries around the world, with half our international students studying at Curtin’s offshore campuses.

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide, with the University placed 9th in Australia according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2021 and has achieved a QS Five Stars Plus rating, the highest available for a tertiary institution, and one of only four to do so in Australia.

The University has built a reputation around innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, being at the forefront of many high-profile research projects in astronomy, biosciences, economics, mining and information technology. It is also recognised globally for its strong connections with industry, and for its commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future.

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