Hydrodec to Rebuild, Expand Canton Plant


Hydrodec is rebuilding its Canton, Ohio, transformer oil rerefinery after a fire destroyed the plant’s processing unit last December, with two new production trains scheduled to commence later this year and replacement of the four original trains expected in 2015.

Equipment is under construction at the Burlington, Canada, location of Zeton Inc., a pilot plant engineering firm. London, United Kingdom-based Hydrodec expects the two additional processing units to be operational in Canton by the end of the year with a combined capacity of 13 million liters per year.

The original units, which had capacity to recycle around 30 million liters per year of transformer oil, will also be replaced, and will come back on stream in the first quarter of 2015, according to the companys interim earnings report.

The company said its taking into account lessons learned from the incident last December. Among other updates, the new, modular equipment will include upgraded components that will help eliminate the risk of material failure, along with an integrated thermal oxidizer designed to reduce emissions venting to atmosphere, and improved washing, degassing and polishing capacity of the re-refined oil to improve production flexibility and produce European standard transformer oil.

The cause of the fire, which according to initial fire departmentestimates caused approximately $12.5 million in damages, was never determined, and Hydrodec is still working with its insurance company to resolve the claim. A total of U.S. $5.5 million has already been received as interim payments from the insurers, and we see no reason to expect anything other than a full resolution of the claim consistent with the terms of the insurance policy, said CEO Ian Smale.

Hydrodec posted a $3.1 million operating loss for the six months through June 2014, compared to a $4 million operating loss during 2013s first six months, according to its unaudited results issued yesterday. Revenue reached $25.4 million for the first six months of this year, up 82.4 percent from same period last year.

The company said the total sales volume of its Superfine transformer oil grew by 106 percent to 25.5 million liters during the first six months of 2014, up from 12.4 million liters in the year earlier period.

Hydrodec began commercial production at the Canton rerefinery in 2008. The company opened a transformer oil rerefinery in Young, Australia, in 2006. Hydrodec will partner with Australias Southern Oil Refining to build a co-located rerefinery in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, that it it expects to kick off later this year.