Consultants

Mike Perkins, Director of Global Consulting, United Kingdom

Email: mike.perkins@icis.com

Broadly experienced business leader with a technical background having worked around the world in both large and small companies. In-depth knowledge of oil refining and petrochemicals from a 34-year career with the BP Group in various global oil and petrochemical roles as well as leading a new technology UK specialty polymer business start-up. During 9 years with ICIS Mike has led and advised on numerous consulting projects involving oil refining and petrochemical operations and international financial institutions. Show more

Mike has broad experience of leadership roles in both large and small companies having spent 34 years working for the BP Group in various oil and petrochemical roles around the world as well as leading a new technology specialty polymer business start up. Mike had spearheaded the consulting business in the EMEA region in ICIS Analytics & Consulting, before being appointed to lead the global consulting business.

Business Advisory Experience
Mike worked at BP as

  • Business Manager & later General Manager, Carshalton Division growing the specialty chemical business dramatically by instituting cultural change to lead the organization from a production to a business led philosophy throughout all its operations.
  • General Manager BP Chemicals ANZ responsible for developing a chemical distribution business across Australia and New Zealand.
  • Forming BP Chemicals Trading Ltd while managing the European chemical distribution business as MD Honeywill & Stein Ltd.
  • When BP restructured its operations into Global Business Units, Mike was appointed Business Unit Leader for BP’s global chemical distribution and trading business leading acquisitions in Germany, Italy and Australia.
  • After managing the successful divestment of the global distribution business in 1998, Mike was posted to Malaysia to manage olefin procurement for BP’s Asian JV PE plants and appointed a Director of PT Polytama in Indonesia.

After retiring from BP Mike was appointed Director of Polyval plc which developed a novel technology to extrude a biodegradable plastic film based on polyvinyl alcohol.

During 9 years with ICIS Mike has led and advised on numerous consulting projects involving oil refining, petrochemical operations and financial institutions.

Stefano Zehnder, Vice President Consulting, Italy

Email: stefano.zehnder@icis.com

Stefano is a senior member of the ICIS Consulting team, globally responsible for the areas of Refining and Petrochemical Feedstocks. He has 30 years of advisory experience in these fields and in the transitioning energy sector, managing the related price forecast and Supply/Demand scenarios of ICIS consulting. Stefano and the consulting team are engaged by the industry and the financial community to support long-term strategic decisions with bespoke consulting projects. He also collaborates with industry associations and major research institutions. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Stefano’s key responsibility is to ensure that consulting projects fully meet the client’s strategic objectives in terms of both content and deliverables. In this context, he is familiar with dealing at the highest level within client’s organisations.
  • His extensive subject matter expertise has been used for a large number of consulting projects involving National and International Oil Companies, Financial Institutions and major petrochemical producers.
  • Example of advisory experience includes
    • feasibility studies for refining and petrochemical projects
    • energy transition scenarios and implications for the refining and petrochemical industries
    • long term planning, market and logistic advisory
    • evaluation of strategic opportunities for condensate splitters, feedstock agreements for petrochemical projects, value addition options for refinery projects
  • Stefano experience also includes leading projects where ICIS consulting was appointed as Lenders Market Consultant. This involved a grass-root refinery project in the Middle East, which recently achieved successful multi-billion dollars financial close at the end of 2018, involving 29 financial institutions from 31 countries.

Education

  • Holds a diploma in Industrial Electronics, from ITIS Giorgi, Milan.
  • Stefano regularly presents and chairs at international conferences around the globe.

Bala Ramani, Head of APAC Consulting, Singapore

Email: bala.ramani@icis.com

Bala Ramani is the Head of Consulting for APAC and currently leads our Asian team in enabling long-term strategic decisions for clients in the Refining & Petrochemical sector, through bespoke consulting projects spanning petrochemical project investments, project screening / configuration, pre-feasibility, market assessment, technology screening, feedstock availability and viability, price forecasts, cost competitiveness, project financing, economic viability and scenario / sensitivity analyses. With a degree in chemical engineering and a Global MBA in marketing, Bala is a seasoned business manager combining petrochemical industry knowledge and client relationships with commercial acumen and project leadership. Show more

Bala is a regular speaker at leading conferences including Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC), Indian Petrochem, Indian Oil Petchem Conclave, Iran Petrochemical Forum, Refining & Petrochemicals World (RPW) and Asian Refining Technology Conference (ARTC).

Business Advisory Experience

  • Some of Bala’s major consulting project experiences include
    • Long-term strategy, vision and a detailed road map until 2040 for transforming the petrochemical sector in India
    • Plastic recycling market and value-chain assessment focusing on recycled PP & PE to formulate a potential market development strategy
    • Scenario based long-term price forecasts for crudes, fuel products, petchem feedstock and petrochemical derivatives to help evaluate most optimal project configuration for proposed petchem addition and capacity expansion at an existing refinery
    • In-depth market study for a potential investment into a Petrochemical complex covering olefin, aromatics and their derivatives.
    • Market Study, Market allocation plan & Preliminary financial model to facilitate the refinancing and bankability for the largest dual-feed cracker and downstream in south Asia
    • Market assessment and techno-economic modeling for a greenfield investment into LPG / Propane-Butane Dehydrogenation based petrochemical cluster in India
    • Detailed Market Assessment with long term supply-demand outlook and price forecasts to identify and shortlist potential Greenfield investment as well as brownfield expansion opportunities supporting the energy transition at an existing refinery
    • Manufacturing Cost Competitiveness in the Refining, Petrochemicals and Specialty Chemicals sub-sectors in Industrial sites across SE Asia, India, China, Middle east, Europe and USA
    • Developer’s marketing counsel to facilitate a greenfield polyolefin investment through a JV between leading Japanese industrial conglomerate and state-owned national oil company in Eurasia
    • Market & Commercial Viability Study for a stranded Aromatic facility in SE Asia covering Supply-Demand, Price outlook for feedstock, aromatics and refined products, Cost competitiveness & long-term viability

Education

  • B.Tech in chemical engineering from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India
  • Global MBA from SP Jain Center of Management (Dubai – Singapore).

James Ray, Vice President, Americas Consulting, USA

Email: james.ray@icis.com

James has worked in the plastics industry, for private equity firms in manufacturing, and recycling, with roles in operations, engineering, sales, purchasing, and general management. Since 2012, James has worked with ICIS Consulting advising on million to multi-billion dollar decisions. Show more

James has business advisory experience in multiple areas:

  • ICIS Consulting on multi-billion dollar investments
  • Sales & Purchasing Contract advisory over billions of dollars in sales and purchases
  • Purchasing Advisory Service
  • Supply and demand analysis, price forecasting
  • Planning, scheduling and management of key projects
  • Operation cost modelling and activity based costing systems
  • Quality systems management, assessment/adjustment
  • Plastics Curriculum Advisory Board Member (former) for two colleges
  • Speaker at about 20 public events per year
  • Instructor for the ICIS Advanced Purchasing Course
  • Instructor for the ICIS Polyolefins Course

Dr. Regan Hartnell, Principal Consultant, Singapore

Email: regan.hartnell@icis.com

Regan is the principal consultant at ICIS and part of the consulting team involved with large, strategic advisory projects for established operating companies or those looking to develop projects to in order to enter the industry. Although based in Singapore, Regan has a decade of experience working with clients all over the world advising on the whole petrochemical value-chain. Regan has a PhD in chemistry and has experience in specialty chemicals, biotechnology, seed and venture capital for health markets. He is the architect of ICIS’ Price Forecasting Methodology, economic models and leads projects in this area for Global clients and is a regular speaker at International conferences. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Experience of financial, forecasting and market modelling for energy and petrochemical industries and the influence of macroeconomic drivers and their interplay with mature & emerging markets
  • Leading market characterization and business positioning studies for possible multi-billion dollar investments
  • Technical and commercial feasibility for new petrochemical investments, and support of financial & legal advisors for chemical investments
  • Market, logistical and pricing forecast studies and econometric modelling
  • Market advisory at the project financing stage on behalf of an international client that secured a multi-billion dollar debt-facility for the construction of a large greenfield petrochemical complex.
  • Design, screening and optimization of LPG-dehydrogenation cluster & greenfield petrochemical derivative complex in Turkey
  • Customized long term price forecast, margin and cost analysis of global hydrocarbon, refined products and petrochemical products for the strategic alignment of business units of a global petrochemical producer
  • Advising MENA banks and project investment funds involved in funding greenfield petrochemical facilities, or the development of existing facilities via Merger & Acquisition or establishing lines of credit
  • Company Price Auditing studies
  • Regular presenter to C-level audiences

Education

  • PhD. (Chemistry), 2003. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 3 candidacy; PRINCE2 Project Management, Practitioner

Dr. Leslie Bottomley, Senior Consultant, United Kingdom

Email: lesw.bottomley@icis.com

Broad experience across the petrochemicals and related industries working in a number of well know international organisations including Dow Chemicals, BP Chemicals, Deloitte LLP etc. With over 25 years experience in the sector in roles from operations, research & development, Sales & marketing. Significant international consultancy experience having been involved in many projects including feasibility studies, operational improvements and financial advisory. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Selected industry experience
  • NGL consulting group leader – Managed a team of global consultants concentrating on the global natural gas liquids (NGL – Propane, Butane, ethane) sector – Projects ranging from shipping to petrochemicals applications.
    • Independent Technical Consultant to the financial investors in a Middle East PDH/PP complex advising on all aspects of the process technology to fully inform the investors of progress of the project.
    • Exposure to a wide range of industry sectors when advising UK based organisations on eligibility for research and development tax credits including petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, Food etc.
    • Large scale feasibility study for investment into a Middle East petrochemicals project employing several different technologies- advising on technology selection, operations capability and financial modelling.
    • Mergers and acquisitions advisory on a number of international projects ranging from the USA to India.

Education

  • First degree in metallurgy and materials science obtained at the University of Manchester (UMIST)
  • MSc and PhD in materials science & Polyethylene – Brunel University (West London)
  • MBA – The University of Kent at Canterbury business school
  • Former lecturer at the University of Greenwich business school

Helen Harker, Petrochemicals Consultant, United Kingdom

Email: helen.harker@icis.com

Helen is a consultant/project manager with extensive experience of the chemical process industry in strategic market analysis, business development and sales. Specialist expertise in commercial due diligence, production cost economics, competitor cost benchmarking, portfolio screening, supply/demand analysis and price/profitability forecasts. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Union Carbide/Dow, ChemSystems/IBM, Nexant, IAL Polyurethanes, ICIS.
  • Strong industry background over a wide range of products covering base chemicals, polymers, plastics, resins and coatings. Expertise in business evaluations, technical assessments, market analysis and competitor landscaping.
  • Project managed several major studies, including:
    • Global Market Assessment for new specialty polymer, identifying potential end-use markets/applications and developing market entry plan.
    • CPI/ACC North America Polyurethane End-Use Market Survey, managed the year-long research programme, producing the flagship report. Delivered report as keynote speaker at annual conference.
    • Polyols Market Study in North East Asia, developing production cost models for new polypropylene carbonate polyols process based on CO2.
    • Vendor Due Diligence for a major European Polyurethane Systems House acquisition.
    • Acquisition Screening Study for a European paint company looking to identify companies to acquire/partner for business development.

    Education

  • Chemical Engineering M.Eng, University of Nottingham, UK

Phoenix Zhang, Senior Consulting Manager, China

Email: phoenix.zhang@icis.com

Phoenix Zhang is a senior consulting manager of ICIS Consulting Asia, based out of Shanghai. With 15+ years’ market study and business advisory experience in China commodity industry, she has extensive experiences on market analysis, market entry strategy, commercial viability and commercial due diligence services across petrochemical industries. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Zhang is an experienced consulting manager with a strong expertise in petrochemical industries and business advisory engagements with global petrochemicals giants and investment banks. She had years of experience as an industry analyst for China petrochemical market with Chemease, which was acquired by ICIS in 2007.
  • Typical engagements :
    • Market Forecasts: China provincial forecast for aromatics and polyolefin market (supply & demand, prices, cost, cash margin) on targeted assets across China for large investment project evaluation.
    • Market research: Market analysis combined with primary research into demand and supply, policy, competition, benchmarking to present the market status in granular details
    • Market entry/Business viability: Business evaluation and strategic planning in target market, covering market positions analysis in each business segments under certain market assumptions and outlooks.
    • Market due diligence: Current status evaluation and outlook analysis on the market and client business operations.
    • Purchasing advisory: Feedstock/raw material sourcing strategy involving mid and long term forecasts for supply/demand, price, risk assessment, contracting terms, seller reviews etc.

Education

  • Bachelor from Shanghai International Studies University.

Parjanya Rao, Consultant, India

Email: parjanya.rao@icis.com

Parjanya is a consultant at ICIS Consulting, based out of Mumbai. With over 8 years of experience in downstream petroleum value chain, he has had an exposure into business planning, supply chain management and sales operations across various refinery fuels as well as petrochemical products. Show more

Business Advisory Experience

  • Parjanya’s current role involves delivering single client studies for Refining & Petrochemical companies encompassing a range of activities such as project feasibility/economics, business viability, long term price forecasting & cost competitiveness.
  • Prior to joining ICIS in 2018, Parjanya has worked with Reliance Industries (RIL) as a product manager handling export sales operations, business/market analysis, financial forecasting and planning and scheduling (feedstock and product) for aromatics plants. He has also worked in the domestic marketing division of RIL, looking after planning of primary supply and distribution of refinery fuels like gasoil and gasoline.
  • Typical engagements :
    • Market/Business Analysis
    • Business financial forecasting short term/long term
    • Supply chain management
    • Planning and Scheduling
    • Export/domestic sales operations
    • Business planning and reporting

Education

  • B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Surat, India
  • Oil & Gas Management from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India

Vinayak Deshpande, Consultant, India

Email: Vinayak.deshpande@icis.com

Vinayak is a consultant at ICIS Consulting based out of Mumbai. He has experience in consulting and market research for crude oil refining and petrochemical industry for over 6 years; specializing in market assessment, feasibility studies, competitive intelligence, business planning/strategies and price forecast with parallel experience of understanding on natural gas/LNG market developments in India. Show more

Vinayak is a consultant at ICIS Analytics & Consulting based out of Mumbai. He has joined ICIS with around 6 years of experience in research and consulting in oil refining business. As a consultant, he has experience in business planning, market study, cost and competitive analysis, feasibility studies, operational improvements, IPO studies and others for crude oil refining business.

Business Advisory Experience

Prior to joining ICIS in October 2018, Vinayak has worked with IHS Markit as an analyst and consultant for more than 3 years with experience in handling refining supply/demand, outages, cost analysis, business/market analysis, financial forecasting, risk consulting, strategy consulting, IPO studies, investment strategy consulting etc. He also has short experience on Gas pricing analysis as he worked on gas pricing analysis for difficult fields in India.

Prior to IHS Markit, he was associated with Evalueserve as Business Analyst. He supported his client to focus on world refining structure and ongoing issues with refineries in different regions. He was mainly a part of client’s crude oil trading team to have detailed analysis on almost all refineries in the world and support team to analyze world crude oil demand and trade for multiple regions. He has also supported his clients’ gas team to understand overall Europe gas market, especially gas pipeline issues in Russia and Ukraine.

Typical engagements:

  • Market/Business Consulting
  • IPO studies
  • Business Planning & Scheduling
  • Business Strategy Consulting
  • Business planning and reporting

Education

  • B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from MPCT, Rajiv Gandhi Technical University (Madhya Pradesh, India)
  • Oil & Gas Management from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun (Uttarakhand, India)