Curtin Malaysia chemical engineering students visit Miri Crude Oil Terminal

Miri – 28 November 2019 – 19 undergraduate chemical engineering students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently went on a study excursion to Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd.’s (PCSB) Miri Crude Oil Terminal (MCOT) at Lutong to learn more about its facilities and operations.

The visit was organised by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Student Chapter of Curtin Malaysia and accompanying the students was senior lecturer of chemical engineering and academic advisor to the student chapter, Dr. Bridgid Chin Lai Fui.

On hand to welcome the group and host the visit was Terminal Superintendent of MCOT, Effendie Bin Johari.

During the visit, the students learned about the various aspects of the terminal’s facilities and plant operations from the MCOT team engineers, including the daily production of wet crude and gas from offshore production platforms located in the Great Sarawak Basin. The engineers also explained the hydrocarbon fluid journey from the reservoir to the surface.

Second-year chemical engineering student and organising chairperson for the visit, Nigel Ng Zhe Hui, said the visit was an eye-opener for the students as they were able to observe the terminal’s operations and relate them to the chemical engineering concepts and theories they are taught in class.

“Furthermore, the opportunity to interact with the staff there also proved insightful as they readily shared their experiences and challenges as engineers working in the oil and gas industry,” said Ng.

Agreeing with Ng, fellow second-year student Chin Vun Kit remarked that he found the visit very informative, especially regarding the upstream processes in the production and extraction of crude oil. He said the technical and practical information shared by the MCOT engineers were all relatable to what was taught in their course.

Final-year student Manasi Mishra, meanwhile, said the highlight of the visit for her was the opportunity to observe the real-time process simulation control system in the terminal’s process control room.

According to Dr. Chin, such study visits and other student learning activities provide students valuable opportunities to learn beyond lecture theatres and classrooms. The students get to have fun learning in more informal environments and also understand better how chemical engineering theories and principles are applied in terms of industrial unit operations and process and design concepts, as well as the impact of its activities on health, safety, the environment and society.

The IChemE Student Chapter of Curtin Malaysia serves to promote the latest developments and advances in the field of chemical engineering among Curtin Malaysia students as well as create networking opportunities between students and industry professionals.

Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin University’s four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Chemical Engineering, which is double-accredited by both Engineers Australia and the Board of Engineers Malaysia, as well as the IChemE. The course has extensive support and collaboration from industry players, and Curtin Malaysia’s location in Miri, an oil and gas hub, and nearby the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), provides students ample opportunities for industry exposure and practical learning.

Curtin Malaysia is the first institution in Malaysia to be awarded the prestigious IChemE MacNab Medal for Excellence in Design Project in 2006, and its students have won numerous national and international chemical engineering competitions, including being the first Malaysian teams to win the Honeywell UniSim Design Student Challenge for Asia Pacific in 2014, and for APAC-EMEA (Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa) in 2015.

Students and lecturers pose for group photo with Effendie Johari at MCOT.

Dr Bridgid Chin presenting a memento to Effendie at the end of the visit.

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