Ducati Corse riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden today took time out from race preparations at the MotoGP circuit at Losail and paid a visit to Shell's research centre in Qatar, seeing at first hand how Shell is working to build the world's...
Ducati Corse riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden today took time out from race preparations at the MotoGP circuit at Losail and paid a visit to Shell's research centre in Qatar, seeing at first hand how Shell is working to build the world's largest Gas to Liquids (GTL) plant. Ahead of the first MotoGP race of the 2009 season, the riders stopped at the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre where they met Shell scientists, toured Shell's world-class research facilities and witnessed the process of converting natural gas into liquid fuels and lubricants.
The Shell research centre is located at the spectacular Qatar Science & Technology Park, a landmark in Doha that is a home for technology companies from around the world. The science park as a whole was inaugurated last month in the presence of His Highness, The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in a widely anticipated ceremony before 1,200 local and international guests.
Stoner and Hayden's more familiar experience of Shell is at the race track, where Shell's scientists and technicians have worked closely alongside Ducati for ten years to provide race-winning fuels and lubricants for their renowned race bikes. Shell Advance race lubricants and Shell V-Power race fuels are tested under severe conditions on the race track through the MotoGP Championship, contributing to the development of new generations of oils and road fuels for the benefit of motorcyclists worldwide. Shell's commitment to innovation through motorsport is an integral part of its extensive research and development programme that is key to making better fuels for its customers.
The work at the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC) has a similarly strong emphasis on innovation. Scientists at the Shell facility recently filed the first patent application by any company at the science park. The focus is on the development and implementation of technologies that support Qatar's energy industry, particularly Qatar's aspirations to be the globe's largest liquefied natural gas exporter and the Gas to Liquids capital of the world. The research centre is vital in providing know-how to produce GTL fuels and lubricants on a large scale through the soon-to-be-complete Pearl GTL plant, with research work including a programme to test GTL catalyst that will be used in the new plant and in future develop new generations of catalyst. Once opened, Pearl GTL will produce enough fuel to fill over 160,000 cars a day and enough synthetic base oil each year to make lubricants for more than 225 million cars.
The construction of Pearl continues apace at Ras Laffan, a vast industrial zone the size of Amsterdam, on Qatar's coast 90 kilometres north of Doha. Casey Stoner commented: "We don't usually get to see much away from the race circuits during the season, and it's really interesting coming here today. Obviously, innovation in MotoGP is important to win races, but today has shown me that Shell's activities go way beyond producing premium fuels and lubricants."
Nicky Hayden, who enjoyed the event alongside his new team mate, was surprised at the scale of Shell's activities in Qatar: "This is my first season with Ducati, so today has been an impressive introduction to working with Shell! More than 40,000 workers from over 50 nations currently work on a building site almost the size of New York's Central Park, making it one of the world's largest industrial developments."