PetroChina head of crude oil trading resigns, replaced by deputy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The head of crude oil trading at Chinese state energy giant PetroChina has resigned after 20 years with the company, a rare departure from a state-owned enterprise known for retaining talent in the midst of rapid expansion, said Reuters.

Li Chuang, 42, head of the crude oil department at PetroChina's trading vehicle Chinaoil, resigned in February, having spent the last two years leading a global team of nearly 50 crude oil traders and marketers.

Chinaoil has chosen as Li's replacement Zhang Peng, a deputy general manager in the same department at Chinaoil who is experienced in derivatives and risk management, said two senior trading sources based in Beijing.

Li declined to give a reason for his resignation. The two sources said he is on gardening leave for three months before making his next move. PetroChina did not respond to a request for comment.

Chinaoil in 2015 traded a record 151 MMt, or roughly 3 MMbpd of crude oil and refined fuel, versus 22 MMt in 2001, posting yearly average growth of 15% over that time span, according to its website.

Its volume turnover in 2015 was slightly more than that of Swiss trader Trafigura for the same year and about half that of Vitol, the world's largest oil dealer.

Chinaoil has since the mid-1990s grown a group of fresh university graduates into seasoned traders and managed to keep most of the top performers.

They include Zhao Yong, the former head of crude trading who is now president of Chinaoil; Zheng Jun, a vice president and another former head of crude trading; and Zhang Tong, another vice president and formerly head of the products team.

Li said his departure would be seen as more normal from global oil majors such as BP or Shell, adding that Chinaoil has been the most successful in retaining talent compared with other Chinese state traders.

Since Beijing began freeing up its oil import and export markets in late 2015, China's independent refineries, global majors and international commodity houses have hired away dozens of traders from Chinese state firms such as Sinochem and CNOOC, seeking staff with the knowledge and skills to profit from the newly liberated sector. Chinaoil has suffered the least number of departures.

Apart from supplying crude and trading refined fuel for parent PetroChina's refineries in China, Chinaoil owns refinery stakes in Japan, Singapore, Scotland and France.

It is one of the few Asia-based trading companies that actively moves crude from Europe, the United States and Canada back to the region.

In one highlight of Li's tenure over the last two years, Chinaoil emerged in late 2015 as an aggressive buyer in Asia's spot oil market, facing off with rival Unipec, trading arm of top refiner Sinopec, in a battle for influence over the region's crude benchmark.

Sinopec Maoming took off-stream LLDPE plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical has shut its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has started maintenance at the plant early this week. The exact duration of the planned turnaround could not be ascertained.

Located at Guangdong in China, the plant has a production capacity of 220,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, on 28 February 2016, Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical shut down its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant. It is slated to remain shut until the end of the first week of March. Located at Guangdong in China, the plant has a production capacity of 250,000 mt/year.

Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical Company (Maoming Company) - a subsidiary of Sinopec- is located in Maoming, Guangdong and was founded in May 1955. The company now has a crude oil processing capacity of 13.5 million t/a and an ethylene production capacity of 1 million t/a. Maoming Company has turned out to be a large-scale integrated refining and chemical enterprise with refining as the leading business and petrochemical sector as the mainstay.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.

Wantong Petrochemical first to use Honeywell hydrotreating catalyst

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that Wantong Petrochemical Group is producing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel using Honeywell UOP’s new HYT-6219 hydrotreating catalyst, said the company.

The catalyst, which is part of Honeywell UOP’s Unity hydrotreating portfolio, enables Wantong Petrochemical to produce cleaner burning ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel without a costly modification of its existing hydrotreating unit in Donyging in China’s Shandong Province. Hydrotreating is a method of removing sulfur from fuels in the refining process, using proprietary catalysts.

"This Unity hydrotreating catalyst will help Wantong and many other refiners meet new global standards for ultra-low sulfur transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel, without a costly revamp of its equipment,” said Ken Stacherski, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Catalysts, Adsorbents and Specialties business. “The high-activity HYT 6219 catalyst produces high-cetane diesel that meets the China V emissions standard, with sulfur levels lower than Wantong has ever before been able to achieve in its existing unit."

The announcement marks the first commercialization of a Honeywell UOP hydrotreating catalyst in distillate hydrotreating service since it exited an alliance with Albemarle last year, and follows launches of other hydrotreating catalysts for naphtha, hydrocracking pretreat and fluid catalytic cracking pretreat.

Bottle recycler planning multimillion-dollar Florida push

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A plastic bottle recycler from Brazil plans to spend millions of dollars to open a new location in Florida, said Plasticsnews.

Florida Plastic Recycling LLC is the local name for a USD7 million project in Jacksonville being planned by Clodam do Brasil Ltda.

Word of the new project comes out of local media that spoke with JaxUSA Partnership, the nonprofit regional economic development arm of the Jacksonville chamber of commerce, JaxChamber.

An official at JaxUSA referred questions to Florida Plastic Recycling, which did not immediately return a call seeing comment.

However, local news reports indicated Clodam plans to ship bottles to Jacksonville for recycling and ship out plastic flake.

Jacksonville's location in northeast Florida, with both a major port and access to the interstate highway system, played a role in the company's site selection. The company also will be able to bring in recycled plastic by rail.

Huntsman to close titanium dioxide facility in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US-based Huntsman is planning to close its titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility in Calais, France, by the third quarter of this year, said Chemicals-technology.

As part of the plan, the white end finishing and packaging operation of the Calais TiO2 facility will shut down, leading to the closure of the entire facility.

In 2015, Huntsman closed the black end manufacturing operations of its Calais-based TiO2 production facility.

Closing the white end finishing line of the Calais TiO2 facility will enable Huntsman to complete any of its remaining obligations to any third parties and regulators.

The proposed closure will affect 108 positions on site.