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Advanced Process Control for the Refining and Petrochemical Industry


World Class APC Practitioners Join Cambridge Start-up Aptitude Ltd



Cambridge, UK 14 March 2006 – Aptitude Ltd, a start-up company based in Cambridge UK has been formed to provide high quality Advanced Process Control (APC) project execution services. Aptitude specialises in the deployment and installation of advanced software applications for the automation and optimisation of process units in the chemical, oil refining and upstream oil and gas sector.

Managing Director Sam Dhaliwal was joined by Michael Harmse on February 1 and subsequently by Doug Nicholson and Patrick Thorpe on March 1 to bring the total number of directors to four. All are active APC practitioners with a total of 80 years of experience.

Mr. Dhaliwal commented on the high profile board appointments: “Doug Nicholson is widely regarded as the foremost ethylene APC and Optimisation consultant in Europe today with direct experience on more than 25 ethylene units worldwide over a distinguished career that spans 30 years. Dr Patrick Thorpe has substantial APC project experience on an exceptionally wide range of process units including oil refining processes, ethylene units, chemicals production, pulp and paper plants and power generation. In addition Michael Harmse has over 20 years of experience in APC project execution and technology development. He has an exceptional reputation as a world class innovator in this sector. With these appointments, Aptitude is delivering on its strategy to combine the talents of world class APC consultants with its new services execution centre in Chandigarh, India to provide the best return on investment in the industry.”

Aptitude has developed a unique business model that will help to make APC technology more accessible while maintaining high standards of execution. Doug Nicholson explained: “In the past, the cost of full scope APC solutions could be prohibitive, costing anywhere between US$500,000 and US$1.5M each. In the past, APC investments have typically yielded a 6 to 12 month payback period on large oil refining and ethylene process units. Despite this success, it is often difficult to justify solutions for smaller refining process units, continuous speciality chemicals, polymer units and upstream oil and gas applications with lower throughput. We can now reduce the initial project implementation costs as well as the ongoing maintenance costs by a significant margin in order to make these second tier applications economically viable. We are confident that our technical excellence and innovative approach will stimulate the rapid adoption of Advanced Process Control solutions in this domain. We expect to see the size of the APC market increase substantially over the next 5 years.”

Notes to Editors:

Aptitude Ltd was established in January 2006 and specialises in providing software implementation services for the fast deployment of Advanced Process Control and Real Time Optimisation applications. ( www.aptitudegroup.com )

Contact: Mr. Sam Dhaliwal, Managing Director, Aptitude Ltd +44 1223 572441 or sam.dhaliwal@aptitudegroup.com or Mr. Doug Nicholson, Senior Consultant, Aptitude Ltd +44 1383 621302 or doug.nicholson@aptitudegroup.com