August 22, 2019 / 2:16 PM / a month ago

Trader BB Energy seeks growth in biofuels, petrochems

LONDON (Reuters) - Commodity trader BB Energy has expanded into renewables and petrochemicals as it seeks to diversify away from the more crowded conventional oil markets, it said on Thursday.

The company has hired two traders in Singapore to venture into biofuel and petrochemical trading in the Asia Pacific region, where it sees promising growth.

“We have to diversify from conventional fuel, we have to go with the flow” Frederic Lassau, global head of middle distillates, told Reuters.

Lassau said conventional markets like crude, jet fuel and diesel were becoming increasingly harder to trade amid shrinking profits and fierce competition.

Oil traders must now compete with new players like Saudi Arabia’s Aramco and the UAE’s Adnoc, which in recent years have beefed up their own trading operations, seeking to maximize profits on their own oil from the well to the consumer.

BB Energy has hired Shane Hong to set up the petrochemicals desk, focusing on aromatics and other petrochemical products, Lassau said. Hong previously worked as trading manager for AOT Energy in Singapore, according to his LinkedIn entry.

Eng Hian Ong joined on biofuels, having previously traded a variety of petroleum products from fuel oil to LPG with Trafigura and others.

On the petrochemical side, BB Energy wants to capitalize on new petrochemical refining capacity coming online in the region, for example in China and Korea.

Traders like BB Energy, Lassau noted, can offer expertise in marketing products, providing financial instruments and hedging options.

BB also continues to expand in conventional markets and has recently expanded its gasoline and distillates teams in London and Houston.

Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by David Holmes

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