Category Archives: calcined coke
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 email@example.com to pre-register. The office is closed this week for China Golden Week, but we will process your registration when the office re-opens.
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.
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.
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 http://az-china.com/CPCX/login.php or contact us with questions at CPCX@az-china.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.)
Reports from Europe indicate that the failed aluminium smelter in the Netherlands, commonly referred to as Zalco, had some calcined coke on the way to the plant at the time that the power switch was turned off.
Apparently the coke was shipped as far back as last October, but was in a hold in a Panamax that was making several stops. Zalco went bankrupt mid December. The plant included an anode plant which also made anodes for its sister smelter, which I understand is now also closed.
One presumes title to the coke is clearly laid out in the contract, passing to the buyer either at FOB point or at CIF time. One hopes for the sake of the seller that the CPC was sold under letter of credit, otherwise the bankruptcy receivers will treat the debt like any other.
It’s a relatively small parcel destined for a relatively small smelter, and normally I wouldn’t bother mentioning it. But with Alcoa announcing 240,000t of capacity closures, RTA partially closing some capacity (mostly unplanned), and Hydro Norway closing potline 1 at Kurri Kurri, raw materials managers around the world are no doubt reviewing their contract positions and inventory levels. I understand one smelter group has already started calling in suppliers, similar to what happened in 2009.
It is not a good time to be long in raw material inventory, but equally, it’s not a great time to be selling these materials to the world’s smelters, who no doubt are asking for reduced prices at the same time as they reduce volumes.
Zhenjiang Coking Gas Group company (ZCGG) has today issued a press release announcing the formation of a Joint Venture with Mubadala Development Company, to construct and operate a calcining plant.
The plant will be on the Yangtze river, near the present-day ZCGG plant, and will have an annual output of 500,000t. Construction will commence by the end of this year, with marketable grades of CPC produced by the end of 2012.
Mubadala is best known in the primary aluminium industry for its part-ownership of Emirates Aluminium, or EMAL, in Abu Dhabi. ZCGG, through their subsidiary Surun, is China’s largest exporter of calcined coke, and also enjoys an excellent reputation among their customers. The JV partners have formed a company called Jiangsu Suyadi Tancai Company Limited (“Suyadi”).
There will be a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday. AZ China has been invited to attend, so we will provide more information, and hopefully photos, after that.
Sinoway Group’s pet coke calcination plant project in Weifang, Shandong province has laid foundations and is scheduled to start the first heat-up steps in April 2012, with marketable grades of calcined pet coke being produced by August. This is according to the press release that Sinoway has issued.
The plant will be known as Sinoway Carbon and is 100% owned by Sinoway. Sinoway did explore the feasibility of working with its Indian partner on the project, but the two groups have since amicably parted ways.
The plant will supply calcined petroleum coke for markets in Australia, the Middle East and other regions and looks to be a world-class plant in terms of operating efficiency and product quality.