Category Archives: Calcined coke

Sinoway Carbon official opening

Written by Paul Adkins

Congratulations to the folks at Sinoway Carbon on the official opening of Phase 1 and launch of phase 2.

At a ceremony held a few days ago, about 100 guests watched as the ribbon was cut.

Phase 1 represents 280,000t capacity, and phase 2 will double that when it is finished in about 12 months time.

Dubal owns 20% of the operating company! and has already taken delivery of the first cargo of CPC.

President of Sinoway International, Liu Tao, addressing the audience.

President of Sinoway International, Liu Tao, addressing the audience.

New general manager of the calciner, Dylan Wang, with Marketing Manager Tony Botelho.

New general manager of the calciner, Dylan Wang, with Marketing Manager Tony Botelho.

Petcoke Online Forum – Topics and panelists

Written by Paul Adkins

The topics and panelists


Shale oil/tight oil

In the last 4 years, the USA has dramatically increased its output of domestic crude oil, thanks to the development of new technology to extract oil from geological rock formations such as shale rock.

Tight oil, of which Shale oil is one type, is now reaching 1 million barrels per day, and is forecast to double output.   American oil refineries, especially those that produce anode grade petcoke, are now trying to figure out what to do about the rising influence of tight oil.   Tight oil can deliver huge savings to a refinery, but the impact on each refinery’s petcoke production can be highly variable.   Refineries that switch to Canadian Heavy oil will produce substantially more fuel coke, but those who switch to Eagle Ford or Bakken will produce a lot less coke.   Some estimates predict that anode grade coke production call fall by more than half.

What is the full story on the shale oil phenomenon?   What is the impact on green coke production, now and in the foreseeable future?   How are calciners reacting now, and what additional challenges are ahead of them?

To examine these questions, we will be joined by:

Stuart Ehrenreich, Managing Director, Cascade Resources

Keith Neyrey, Customer Support Manager, Rain CII


China Petcoke

In this session we will examine the new/old phenomenon of hydro treating the vacuum materials in Chinese oil refineries, and what this will do to the supply of green coke.

Sinopec have reportedly started experimenting with the use of hydro treating in a couple of its refineries.   Although the technology is not new, its application in today’s environment represents a threat to coke output.   Some have reported that Sinopec’s experiments have led to a petcoke output reduction of up to 30%.

We will learn what the other major petcoke producers are doing to improve their value products output, recognizing that increased light product output means decreased coke output.   What is CNPC doing?

On a broader scale, we will look at China’s total petcoke supply picture.   2012 saw no growth in petcoke supply – what is the outlook for 2013, and 2014?

What is happening with imports and exports, and what about the talk of new Customs Tariffs on petcoke?

With the changes to the total supply side in China, what does this mean for availability for export?   To what extent is China dipping into medium-high sulphur cokes to support its anode demand?

To examine these questions, we will be joined by:

Ji Yuan, Analyst at AZ China, and author of the monthly Black China Report

Wang Hao, Senior Engineer and Vice Director, Petrochina (TBC)


Calcined Coke

Anyone involved in the global calcined coke/anode business will be aware that calcining capacity has grown strongly in recent years.   New projects in China have recently opened, while others in China, India, and the Middle East are in various stages of development.

This growth comes at a time when primary aluminium production is under pressure from low prices and lack of profitability.   Outside China, the outlook is grim, with closures likely to exceed expansions for the next couple of years.

Meantime, inside China, new anode plants and new smelters are adding to the total demand, but from within China.   What will that do to availability for the rest of the world?   Will China’s domestic demand for anode grade coke, combined with lack of growth of this coke, cause shortages of coke?   What does that do to the calciners that have recently been built or are due to enter the market?

Out of all this, where are prices heading?   If petcoke prices rise, won’t that put a squeeze on calciners, especially as smelters are less willing than ever to pay more.

Finally, what does the panel think will happen with anode plant development?   Is there any threat to the traditional model that sees each smelter having its own anode plant?    What about tightening environmental regulations, and the decreasing availability of capital for furnace rebuilds?   Will we soon see the day when global anode producers, perhaps based in China or elsewhere, are supplying multiple plants with their anodes from one massive ultra-modern anode plant?

To help us understand these questions, we will be joined by:

Mr Tony Botelho, Sales Manager, Sinoway Carbon, China

Dr Akram Madanat, formerly of Gasan Calcining Project, Saudi Arabia


Open Forum

In the first 3 topic areas, we have tried to address the major issues facing the petcoke industry right now.   But that doesn’t mean there are no other topics to be examined.   Some of these include:

  • Fuel grade coke prices – will coal price drive fuel coke prices down?
  • What of the talk that high sulphur coke imports will be taxed in China?
  • What is happening in India?   Will that country grow CPC exports?
  • What is the price gap between CPC at 3% sulphur compared to lower levels of sulphur?
  • How to obtain the best prices for CPC, and what about the new CPC Index services popping up?

To help us with this discussion, our panelists from the previous 3 sessions will be joined by Paul Adkins, Managing Director of AZ China and Oscar Mascarenhas of Goa Petcoke Consulting.

To register for this conference, go to the forum website and use the online registration page at  (The registration page will be open on or before October 23.)



More on the Petcoke Online Forum

Written by Paul Adkins

Last week we announced the Petcoke Online Forum, an important briefing on the latest developments in the petcoke market (see here for the original announcement.)

Here is some more information about the conference.

The AZ China Petcoke Online Forum

The Petcoke Online Forum is a key event not to be missed by anyone involved in supplying carbon into the world’s aluminium smelters.

In past years, there has been a conference held (The Fall Petcoke Conference) which has allowed participants a chance to update themselves with the latest developments in the market.   This year, the conference is being held by AZ China, the world’s leading carbon consulting company.

AZ China believes it is vitally important to provide this forum at this time.   There are some serious changes occurring in the petcoke market, and we feel it is essential that market participants keep themselves abreast of the latest developments.

This conference will be held online.   AZ China recognises that it is difficult at this time of year for participants to find the budget to travel, especially to conferences.   But this conference will allow you to participate from the comfort of your office or home.

We are delighted to announce that Rain CII is our sponsor for this event.   In the words of Rain CII’s Vice President Commercial, Ron Garbarino, “Rain CII applauds AZ China for trying something different in the conference space, and we look forward to participating.

How it works

Simply go to the AZ China website and click on the tab for the Petcoke Online Forum.   There you will find the registration page.   Once you have registered (there is a small $99 admin fee), you will receive a password.

Once each session of the conference starts (you will receive an email alerting you that it is about to start), simply log in, enter your password, and join the discussion.

Because participants will be coming from multiple time zones around the world, the conversation will be there waiting for you when you log in.   Post your comments and questions, and if you are in the same time zone as the moderator and panelists, you will get answers and responses immediately.   It’s that simple.

To help you learn more about each panelist and the particular point/s that they want to make, most panelists will prepare a short video.   The video will contain a brief introduction to themselves, and a quick explanation of the key points they want to make.   We suggest you watch the video before joining the conversation.

When will it be held?

The AZ China Petcoke Online Forum will be held November 12 to 14, Beijing time.   However, if you are in the USA or a country with a time zone behind the time zone in Beijing, it will start a little earlier for you.

Important note:         Each Live Forum will run for approximately one hour, while the session will run for at least 24 hours.

Live forum:

Session           Topic                                       Beijing            Houston          Dubai

time                time                time

1                      Tight oil/Shale oil                  Tues                Mon                Mon

08.00              19.00              24.00

2                      China petcoke                        Tues                Mon                Tues

16.00              03.00              12.00

3                      Calcined coke                         Wed                Wed                Wed

16.00              03.00              12.00

4                      Open Forum                          Thurs              Wed                Wed

08.00              19.00              24.00

In the next post, we will talk about the topics and panelists.



Announcing the AZ China Petcoke Online Forum

Written by Paul Adkins

Over the last several years, there has been a “Fall Petcoke Conference” held somewhere around Asia, with the last one being held in Hong Kong last October.

This year, AZ China is offering our own petcoke conference, but this conference is going to be unlike any other you have attended.   It will be held online.

The Petcoke Online Forum will be held November 12 – 14, and will be held in the comfort of your own office or home.

We at AZ China believe it is a vital time to get up to date with what is happening in the petcoke world.   The recent announcement by Valero in the USA only highlights what is likely to get worse.   Anode grade petcoke is about to go short, perhaps critically short. To the situation with Shale Oil and Tight Oil developments in the USA, add the increased use of hydro treating in Chinese oil refineries, and you have a potentially “tectonic” shift in the market balance of anode grade petcoke.

Fuel grade coke prices are also set for a roller coaster ride.   China is likely to set import duties on high sulphur petcoke in 2014, but coal prices are set to fall.   For as long as the calorific value connection is maintained, that will drive fuel coke prices down.

In the calcined coke world, new calciners are starting to impact the market.   Some projects have been delayed or cancelled, but meantime, new capacity in calcined coke, and especially in anode manufacturing capacity.

In short, if ever there was a time to keep ahead of the curve, this is it.   AZ China recognises this, and has decided to step into the breach.

To help us arrange this event, we are delighted to announce that Rain CII has agreed to sponsor the Petcoke Online Forum.

So, how does it work?   Simple.   We will shortly make a registration page available.   Register your details and receive your login password.   On the day, go to the forum site (we will provide the special link), and join the conversation.   Because participants will come from all sorts of time zones, the conversation will be there waiting for you no matter where you log in from. (There’s a small admin fee of $99 with registration.)

Best of all, no need to find extra budget for travel or accommodation costs.   No need to find a week out of your busy diary.   An online forum will not have the networking opportunities that a physical presence does, but the AZ China Aluminium and Carbon conference in May 2014 will give you that opportunity.

In a separate post, I will give you more information about the line up of speakers and the topics we will cover.

If you don’t want to wait with registering for this important and innovative event, you can write to me at to pre-register.    The office is closed this week for China Golden Week, but we will process your registration when the office re-opens.


AZ China CPC Index Upgrade Completed

Written by Paul Adkins

Many of you know that we launched an online CPC index service recently called CPCX. We have just finished upgrading it from a China index to a WW index.  This index provides registered users with actual transaction price data uploaded confidentially from other buyers and sellers of CPC.

If you buy or sell CPC or have an interest in the CPC market, sign up for a free trial and check out the new changes today.

Semester Pricing Handbook for Calcined Coke

Written by Paul Adkins

Hot off the presses – edition 1 of the SPH report!

Available only to Black China Report subscribers, the Semester Pricing Handbook (SPH) can be used to assist you with your calcined coke purchases, especially from China.    We have specifically designed this tool to be useful for both sides of the negotiation.   It doesn’t matter if you are a buyer or seller, you need to be well prepared.

We know that many of you have to trawl through numerous reports and studies to extract the information you need.   So we thought we would do it for you.   Hopefully we can free you from the task of extracting data, giving you more time to analyse data and make good decisions.

This data-packed excel will be updated on a quarterly basis, contact us for a sample.

AZ China’s CPCX goes live!

Written by Paul Adkins

If you are a buyer or seller of Calcined Petroleum Coke (CPC), this index was made particularly for you; however, others in the industry will no doubt find it useful as well. The index shows actual CPC transaction prices on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis for five different grades of CPC within China’s three major CPC regions.

All CPC buyers and sellers who register and input data this month will have a year of free access to the index. Register for a free trial to learn how it works via our website or contact us with questions at




Me too

Written by Paul Adkins

Seems the latest craze in the carbon market is to own a calciner, preferably one you built yourself.

Just take a look at the list of projects and expansions that we discussed during the last couple of days at the Jacobs conference here in Hong Kong.

* ZCGG Surun’s 500,000t calciner will start pumping CPC out in the next 2 months;

* Sinoway Carbon’s 280,000t calciner will be producing marketable coke by February

* Goa Carbon’s calciner in Canzhou (near Tianjin) will be operaitonal by the end of 2013;

* DQ Carbon has settled on their technology provider and will aim for operational status by early 2014;

* Weifang Lianxing is now building a small calciner in Zibo, not far from their 600,000t plant, which finished its expansion less than 12 months ago;

* Meanwhile, we understand the Rain CII plant is on schedule;

* Gasan in Saudi Arabia is also progressing, though not as fast as Gasan wants;

* Takreer in Saudi Arabia will also build a calciner, integrated into an oil refinery there.

* ICTC has commissioned NFC and NEUI to build a calciner in Egypt, with anticipated volume of 300,000t in phase 1, and due for completion the end of next year.

All this activity raises all sorts of questions about market saturation, supply of calcinable green coke, and of course return on investment.   Buyers will be spoilt for choice, assuming all these projects come to fruition.

AZ China specialises on deep dive analysis of the calcined coke market.   If you want more information about what is happening, and what is likely to happen, contact us at


Another new calciner coming

Written by Paul Adkins

Another petcoke calcination plant will be joining China’s fleet of calciners.

This one will be constructed and operated by Daqing Gaoxin, perhaps better known for their trading activities in green coke, calcined coke and coal tar pitch.   The calciner will be built in Cangzhou, Hebei Province, a small industrial town very close to Tianjin.   That also puts it in close proximity to Dagang calciner as well as quite a number of oil refineries.   Daqing aoxin also plans to make use of the nearby deep sea port to bring green coke up from south China.   Guo Yunfei, General Manager of Daqing Gaoxin, told me that he hopes to make use of the domestic coal shipping industry.   “Many ships taking coal from north China come back empty, so we should be able to get excellent freight rates.”

The calciner will be built in 2 stages, and when finished will have 600,000t capacity.   Early engineering work has commenced, and construction will begin in June.   Daqing Gaoxin hope the calciner operating by the second quarter of 2013.  As with many calciners in China, the technology will be “home-grown”, but using vertical shafts as the basis.

By my count, that makes 4 calciners under construction in China, along with Sinoway Carbon in Weifang (280,000t potentially growing to over 1 million), ZCGG, and Sunstone.

And most seem to intend to build anode plants in conjunction with their new CPC plant.

Rusal to stop buying GPC from China

Written by Paul Adkins

Unconfirmed reports are coming through that UC Rusal is to cease buying green petroleum coke from China.   No details yet, so the rest of this post is speculation.  And we speculate that perhaps they are planning to switch to buying more calcined coke and anodes.   Rusal already buys some CPC from China, and owns two cathode plants here as well.

If this is true, it would be part of a general trend in the aluminium industry to re-think coke strategy.   Following the efforts of Alcoa to establish a JV in a calciner in 2009, there have been several other companies seeking to do something a little different here in China.   Late last year, Mubadala signed a JV agreement with ZCGG, who in turn have a partnership with Mitsubishi.   Vedanta has been active in the China market, even to the point of telling Weifang Lianxing that they would be a long-term buyer of CPC from that company.   Other Chinese companies are being courted by or have already joined with foreign partners for brownfield and even greenfield projects.

All this activity suggests that these aluminium companies are taking the same view as we do here at AZ China – that China is likely to continue to grow in importance as a supplier of coke to the smelter industry.   As the companies rush (at snail’s pace in some cases) to join with Chinese partners, those who come to the “feasting table” last may find that there’s nowhere for them to sit and no more coke share to go around.   Those not already in a long-term strong relationship with Chinese suppliers are likely to find themselves locked into either the traditional suppliers in the USA, India, or perhaps hang out for additional capacity in the Middle East.   Not that calcining or anode producing capacity is ever the key issue – supply of anode quality green coke is. (With an additional wish list of qualities such as reliability, consistency, stable pricing and trust in one’s partners.)