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Qenos is an example of an Australian based advanced manufacturer successfully creating a space for itself in the value chain of a large Chinese state-owned enterprise that has led to the development of a new commercial business in the global value chain of the industry.

Qenos is Australia’s sole manufacturer of polyethylene and leading supplier of world class polymers. It serves packaging, food and beverage, building and construction, home wares and leisure, mining and energy, agriculture, water conservation, waste management, and personal care industries in Australia and internationally. The company was incorporated in 1991 and is based in Altona, Victoria. As of September 30, 2008, Qenos Pty Ltd. has operated as a subsidiary of China National Bluestar (Group) Co., Ltd, a joint venture between China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) and The Blackstone Group.

Qenos has a long history in managing hazardous processes safely and effectively. Its operational expertise and safety, health and environmental (SHE) management practices were important factors in ChemChina’s decision to acquire Qenos. Qenos took the initiative to transfer safety expertise to China, starting with a program of SHE knowledge exchange to the 22 Bluestar plants operating in China.

Initially, Chinese key personnel were brought out to Australia to shadow Qenos teams, but soon emphasis shifted to Qenos teams travelling to China for visits of one to two weeks to work with ChemChina plants.

Qenos helped the Chinese businesses develop and implement management processes and control and maintenance procedures for Chinese production facilities and their staff. Over time, these management systems were refined and a scorecard system based on diagnostic assessment was introduced to track improvements in operational practices and highlight areas where further support was required. This program has now been running continuously and with great success since 2007.

Helped by their local ownership links, Qenos teams were given access and information that enabled them to expand what had initially been technical advice into production management support able to improve asset performance.

Demand for Qenos expertise has reached a level that has seen seven teams sent to China in the first months of 2014 alone. In addition, Qenos is encountering demand from outside the group, for example from Chinese local governments keen to improve the performance and safety record of local chemical production facilities.

Faced with growing opportunities in China it was a logical step to consolidate these activities into a business platform. In 2013, with support from the Victorian State government, Qenos announced the establishment of a new business unit to export SHE and operational management expertise to hydrocarbon and chemicals manufacturing companies in China.