Change at helm of Lindsey Oil Refinery as Prax’s first general manager is Bahrain-bound

There has been a change at the helm of Prax Lindsey oil Refinery.

Luc Smets, recruited into the role of general manager by the team shortly after the huge Humber Bank facility was bought from Total in early 2021, has left, moving to a similar role with Bapco Refining in Bahrain. Edmund Stobseth-Brown has been appointed as interim general manager of the 55-year-old plant.

Covering a 500-acre site at North Killingholme, ‘LOR’ is one of Europe’s most advanced refineries, processing more than 20 different types of crude including, petrol, diesel, bitumen, fuel oil and aviation fuels, which are transported across the UK and abroad by sea, road, rail and pipeline.

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He will lead a team of 400, supported by a strong contractor workforce.

A spokesperson for Prax, the British business that has expanded rapidly to embrace the entire supply chain from oil field to forecourt, said: “Edmund brings a wealth of site-specific knowledge and experience to the role, having been a member of the senior leadership team for many years. He will continue to drive innovation at the refinery, with investments being progressed through the site to transform it into a next generation, UK-leading, low carbon refinery of the future, as well as providing employees and the local community with sustainable and viable opportunities.”

Mr Smets had arrived in northern Lincolnshire with more than three decades of petrochemical experience, having spent the first 23 years with ExxonMobil. A decade ago he had joined Cypriot-registered Gunvor, then an early entrant as a trading business into the refining sphere, to head up a refinery in Antwerp which had just been acquired out of the liquidation of Petroplus.

On joining, Mr Smets – who succeeded Total’s Thomas Behrends – had spoken of the exciting entrepreneurial era dawning under Prax, going on to launch the refinery’s £300 million carbon capture plan early this year.

As reported, it aims to take one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the plant a year from 2028, in what would be a major infrastructure addition. Linking with the pipelines from similar plans being progressed from neighbouring Phillips 66 and VPI Immingham, and feeding into the wider South Bank model for transportation to sub-North Sea storage, it has been worked up by the team since the ink dried on Prax’s acquisition.

Unveiling to an industrial audience Mr Smets had underlined his pride at the work put in to catch up with other partners in the Viking CCS development, having had to embrace such work from a standing start. In that audience was Phillips 66 Humber Refinery’s new head, Paul Fursey, who returned to the top role in January.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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