In essence, the company, in line with the approaching IMO sulphur cap regulations, stated that during the first half of 2019, it completed the the heaviest part of the scheduled maintenance and now the company aims to achieve an average premium above the EMC Benchmark margin of around 2.4 ÷ 2.8 $/bl (net of maintenance).

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Specifically, the company will start on August the bunkering business in Cagliari area that is expected to contribute positively to the Group results.

The annual planned maintenance program on power generation plant was completed in the first half of the year and no further activity is scheduled for the rest of the year. Total electricity  production in 2019 is expected broadly in line with previous year, while CIP6 tariff is influenced by lower gas prices driven by large availability of gas on the market.

In the meantime, Chairman Massimo Moratti commented

We are ready, starting from the second half of the year, to fully benefit from a scenario that is expected to be more favourable, also thanks to improving refining margins and the first effects of the IMO legislation that will come into force on 1st January 2020, resulting in positive market conditions for high-conversion and integrated refineries like ours.

He added that the company sold service stations in Spain to Kuwait Petroleum, obtained the authorisations needed and will soon begin the direct sale of bunker fuels in the Cagliari area.

Concluding, in late July, North launched guidelines on better-handling the IMO 2020 sulphur cap.