Interview with Jay Jeong

Jay Jeong, Refinery Market Manager Global Technology, Alfa Laval Lund AB will be speaking at ARTC 2018, taking place on 23 – 25 April at the DoubleTree Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Jay Jeong will present how Alfa Laval challenges the conventional way of looking at fouling mitigation and energy recovery in heavy oil processes. Examples of how heat exchanger technologies with differing geometries have solved this perplexing issue will be presented. The presentation also includes an operating case story from PTTGC, Thailand, where Alfa Laval heat exchanger technology has been applied in a visbreaker application.

We asked Jay a couple of questions prior to the event and here is what he said:

Can you tell us a bit more about what you’ll be speaking about at ARTC? Why is it particularly relevant now/in Asia/both?

Energy optimization is one of the hot topics in the refinery industry globally and heavy oil upgrading is also one of them. The case story from our customer PTTGC, which Upienpong and I are going to co-present, is a perfect example where the customer has found a solution for two hot issues.

Recovering energy from VBR is very tempting but technically not really reachable due to the heavy fouling nature of the VBR but, Alfa Laval is now able to provide a solution with Spiral Heat Exchanger technology.

This success story is really relevant to the refiners in Asia at this very moment because many of them are investing in new capacity or revamping with the focus on high energy efficiency, as well as getting the most out of the crude oil purchased with heavy oil processes where solution for heavy fouling is needed.


Why is it important for you to co-present with your customer PTT Global Chemical on this?

Although Alfa Laval has been presenting success stories in heavy fouling processes in other parts of the world, having a working reference in this region would convey a solid message especially when the story is presented together with the customer. At the end of the day, customer is the one operating the plant and can share insights and experience from the POV of a refiner.


Why have you chosen ARTC as the platform to share your insights? What are you most looking forward to?

ARTC has been one of the targeted refinery conferences of Alfa Laval for many years. This conference is a very nice occasion where the refiners, licensors and technology leaders can meet, network and share their thoughts and experiences – and this is what I am looking forward to.


What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing Asia’s refining sector today?

It is not easy to make one generalized statement for the whole Asia refining sector as the challenges vary from region to region, even within Asia – Japan/Korea/Taiwan, China, India, SEA and the Middle East. However, one thing in common, in my opinion, is having their energy structure optimized far beyond the level reachable with conventional technology.


What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Asia in the next 12 months?

Again this is a tricky question as it can be understood from many different aspects and the answer also varies from region to region. But if I must think out loud, the biggest opportunity for refiners in Asia would be to focus on getting ready for the future even when the industry is not having the best season.

This can mean several different things – getting the energy optimization work done first, though the energy cost today is not as high as the peak we have experienced; having the refineries ready for heavier crude which many of them are already focusing on, having the refineries ready for even tougher environmental regulations, and so on. If the refiners are already getting ready for the future upturn starting now, they will enjoy much better business when the best season is back.

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