Our focus is on the performance goals set by the individual refiner, commonly expressed in terms of product yield and quality, feedstock flexibility, hydrogen consumption, operating margin, reliability and environmental impact.
Considerable resourcefulness is required to run a refinery profitably when faced with shifting product demand patterns, tighter specifications, rising energy costs, tougher environmental regulations and variable crude quality.
At the same time, the world order is changing. The economic progress of nations such as India and China, along with increased downstream activity in the Middle East, is serving to transform the global refining landscape. There are some parts of the world where refining is experiencing rapid growth and others where capital investment is severely constrained and there is a question of survival. For different reasons, refiners worldwide need to be on top of their game – and so do we at Criterion Catalysts & Technologies.
While our responsibility lies firmly with the catalyst, our focus is on the performance goals set by the individual refiner, commonly expressed in terms of product yield and quality, feedstock flexibility, hydrogen consumption, operating margin, reliability and environmental impact.
We listen intently to customers to gain a thorough understanding of their particular business and technical drivers. We then analyse product specifications, feedstock properties, process schemes, reactor designs and operational constraints, and use the findings to devise the optimum catalyst system along with the most appropriate operating strategy for the given unit.
Finally, we work closely with customers to help the catalysts function as we predict and the process units to perform, over the long term, to their full potential.
Technology leadership is important but not enough in itself. A willingness to work side by side with our customers is vital to realising the benefits of the latest technology.
Our share of the hydroprocessing catalyst market, product range, customer base and global reach place us firmly as a front runner in this highly competitive field.
However, we recognise that our leadership – as best defined by the quality of our technology, the calibre of our technical support and, not least, our commitment to the customer’s objectives – are on the line every time we are asked to supply a catalyst.
Throughout the Criterion organisation, we are fully prepared for this; it is part of our constant drive to be the industry’s pre‑eminent technology partner through close co-operation with our customers.
Refiners can have complete confidence in our ability to reliably deliver products of a consistently high quality.
Criterion’s principal catalyst manufacturing plants are in Ghent, Belgium, and in the USA at Pittsburg, California, and Port Allen, Louisiana.
The Port Allen site (pictured), which opened in 2010, is world scale and represents the state of the art in catalyst manufacturing. It is run along lean manufacturing lines by a highly experienced team and is fully integrated, having the ability to take in the raw materials used to make alumina and turn out a range of finished hydrotreating catalysts.
Like all our plants, Port Allen is certified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007. Again like all our plants, it is run on a model that has safety, quality and professionalism at its core. Advanced quality controls cover all aspects of production within the plant, from the raw material stage to the point of catalyst dispatch.
Speciality zeolites for our hydrocracking catalysts come from Zeolyst International plants in Kansas City, USA , and Delfzijl, the Netherlands. Our Ghent and Pittsburg plants are where we process these zeolites to make the finished catalysts.