Hin Leong on Sales Block

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Troubled oil trader and lubricants producer Hin Leong Trading Pte. has apparently been put up for sale, based on notices placed in local media earlier this month.

The notice – placed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is serving as court-appointed judicial manager for Hin Leong – do not name the company but describe an “independent bunker fuel and lubricant supplier in Singapore.” It says that the majority owner of the unnamed company has decided to sell its stake, pending approval by regulators.

Hin Leong could not be reached for comment, but two market sources told Lube Report they believe that Hin Leong is the only firm that fits the description in the notice.

Singapore-based Hin Leong triggered a scandal in April when it and shipping arm Ocean Tankers filed for bankruptcy protection. In doing so, the company admitted that it had run up more than $800 million in losses in recent years despite reporting that it was making profits. The company was subsequently forced to halt its main business of oil trading and marine fuel supply, and founder Lim Oon Kuin was charged with abetment of forgery for an allegedly falsified document used to secure a loan.

Earlier this month Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority suspended the license of Hin Leong subsidiary Ocean Bunkering Services to sell marine fuel. At one point Hin Leong was the third-largest marine fuel supplier in Singapore, which is the world’s largest bunkering hub.

In addition to its trading and bunkering operations, Hin Leon has a lubricants business with blending plants in Singapore and Fuzhou city, in China’s Fujian province. The Singapore facility has capacity to make 50,000 metric tons per year of lubricants, while the Fujian plant has capacity to make an equal amount of fluid lubricants and 10,000 t/y of grease.

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