B'luru now has 1 of top 3 Shell R&D hubs
Shell on Friday inaugurated its technology centre here that can house up to 1,500 experts, who will collaboratively work on worldwide innovative energy projects.
The 52 acre "custom built" technology centre is one of the three main technology hubs in Shell's global network of Research & Development centres, with the other two located in the Netherlands and USA, company officials said.
The centre, inaugurated by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, houses technical experts, laboratories and technology demonstration units.
Ambassador of Netherlands to India Alphonsus Stoelinga and Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande were also present. The technology centre would function as the Asia technology hub for the Shell group, Shell Companies in India Chairman Nitin Prasad told reporters here.
Pointing out that Shell has been consistently committed to India, he said "the leadership chose our location, our country because they believe that the next decade is the decade of India. Our hope is that from this point we will also continue to generate the next generation of technology, the next generation of services and products."
Shell officials said the centre is home to a wide spectrum of technical disciplines and has specific expertise in fields like liquefied natural gas, subsurface modelling, data analysis, engineering design, bitumen, distillation, water technology and enhanced computational research.
It is also helping pioneer efforts - using its IH2 (waste to fuel) technology - to turn forestry, agricultural and municipal waste into transportation fuels, with a new demonstration plant being built at the site, they said.
"The level of innovation that we have seen here, the quality of the talent that we have....it is really fantastic, and joining this together we are trying to find new solution to fulfil the energy needs of the country and the world," Shell's Projects & Technology Director Harry Brekelmans said.
Sada Iyer, Vice President, Engineering, said the centre brings together R&D staff who previously worked at separate locations in Bengaluru, and provides additional space for high-tech innovation and demonstration facilities.
"By housing all R&D staff in one centre, the technology hub will create new opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration, and drive relevant and affordable innovations for India and the world," he said.
Company officials said Shell in Bengaluru has about 2,500 people, combining the strength at its IT centre and the new technology centre.
Prasad said there is tremendous expansion in the number of jobs coming to the country from Shell and within almost a year, Shell India would be the third largest employer in the entire group.
Stating that Shell India aims to be roughly over a 7,000 manned organisation by end of the year, he said "we will take about 3,000 in Chennai, we will run about 3,000 in our IT centre (Bengaluru) by the end of the year, we will run about 1,000 here (new technology centre) and about 500 or odd spread all across.... that's the rough numbers."