Shell agreed with Dutch tank terminal firm HES International to partially restart the operation of a German oil refinery mothballed since 2011, in order to address new restrictions coming into force on marine fuels from January 1st 2020.
According to Reuters, HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal is now reinstalling the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at Wilhelmshaven, with the aim to produce low-sulphur fuels ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap, a spokeswoman informed. In fact, HES also said that it had indeed reached a tolling agreement with a customer, but did not provide further information.
The plant is expected to process heavy, low-sulphur crudes, aiming to produce various products, including the 0.5% sulphur fuel oil or distillate marine fuels.
According to the agreement, Shell will be providing the feedstock and it will handle the end product. HES had bought the 260,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery from ConocoPhillips in 2011 and made it a large-scale tank terminal facility, which has a capacity of 1.3 million cubic metres.
However, the plant’s capacity reduced when many European refineries were unable to remain operational.
BP had also informed that it is ready to sell a very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap which bans polluting fuels for the shipping industry. The company now aims to retail the new 0.5% sulphur VLSFO worldwide.
Moreover, Sinopec’s subsidiary refinery in Singapore’s province of Hainan delivered its first shipment of low-sulphur bunker fuel, complying with upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation. Specifically, a ship with 2,200 tonnes of low-sulphur fuel departed the Hainan refinery in late February heading to Ningbo on the east coast.
The Hainan plant is currently the second refinery under Sinopec to produce the low-sulphur fuel, complying with IMO standards. In fact, during January, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Corp shipped 6,000 tonnes of the fuel.
In addition, Hellenic Petroleum, one of Greece’s biggest oil refiners, informed on February 28 that two of its three refineries are already ready to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap. Specifically, its refineries in Elefsina and Thessaloniki have adjusted to the new rules.
As for the third refinery in Aspropyrgos, which produces high sulphur fuel oil, it will comply with the new rules in November, as some tests will take place in the second quarter, Reuters reported.
Furthermore, the Port of Fujairah announced that a 0.5% sulphur bunker fuel will be available at the port, as early as February 2019 onwards. Namely, Fujairah Refilling Limited has began the manufacturing and production of the first bunker fuel oil with 0.5% sulphur which will be delivered in Fujairah.