With China driving for industrial transformation and upgrading for more sustainable growth under its 13th Five-Year Plan, the petroleum and chemical industry is calling for new thoughts to steer its future direction which is focused on higher value-added products, innovation and environmental protection.
Air Products’ Industrial Gases Executive Vice-President Corning Painter, along with 15 executives from other leading multinational and domestic chemical companies, attended the high-level, invitation-only and closed-door 2018 CEO Dialogue recently held in Beijing. Organised by government-backed China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF), the CEO Dialogue is an annual forum engaging chief executives from global and domestic industry leaders to discuss industry challenges and exchange ideas to guide the next phase of development.
Addressing the topic of ‘Prospect of the Transformation and Upgrading of Petrolum and Chemical Industry in New Era’, Painter (below) offered his insights in how the coal gasification industry can play a key role in China’s Energy Strategy. The forum also discussed ‘The Belt and Road Initiative: China Proposal, Global Opportunities.’
Kicked off and concluded by CPCIF Chairman Li Shousheng, this year’s event was attended by CNPC General Manager Zhang Jianhua, China Energy Corporation Chairman Qiao Baoping, CNOOC Vice General Manager Lv Bo, Sinochem Group Chairman of the Board Frank Ning, as well as senior leaders from other domestic giants and multinational chemical companies including BASF, Total and BP.
“Coal gasification is needed as the process to produce cleaner fuels, energy and other high value-added critical chemicals essential to our daily lives. While major gasification players are upgrading their plants to integrate more value-added downstream derivatives, the key ingredients for success are Innovation, Large Scale, Advanced Technology and World-Scale Operational Expertise. Large-scale gasifiers equipped with proven technology and plant operational expertise can help maximise output and minimize production cost. Technology maturity is also important to downstream processes,” Painter said at the forum.
He also reinforced Air Products’ commitment to China’s coal chemical projects by leveraging the company’s abundant experience in the safe operation of large-scale projects around the world.
Air Products has been actively supporting China’s coal gasification market and collaborating with leading domestic companies to produce cleaner fuels and higher value-added downstream chemicals. More than a dozen of its advanced and world-scale air separation unit plants are involved in four gigantic industry-leading coal chemical projects in Pucheng and Yulin of Shaanxi Province, Changzhi of Shanxi Province and Ordos in Inner Mongolia.
Last year, the Tier One corporation signed a significant investment agreement with Yankuang in the presence of US President Trump and China President Xi during the US Department of Commerce’s Trade Mission to China on a $3.5bn coal-to-syngas production facility in Yulin, and also with Lu’an on another major coal gasification project in Changzhi.
In January, the company announced an agreement to acquire Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Coal Gasification Technology business and Shell’s patent portfolio for Liquids (Residue) Gasification in support of domestic gasification projects.
“The acquisition of Shell’s technology, already in operation at more than 20 coal gasification plants, gives us access and opportunities to fully explore outsourcing options to produce and supply syngas for customers planning to use gasification,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO at Air Products. Ghasemi emphasised this acquisition supports Air Products’ continued focus on providing a full scope of industrial gases, rather than a strategic shift into technology licensing.