Only 15% of oil refiners know how they are going to cope with rules concerning sulfur emissions that are due to come into force in 2020, according to a recent survey by KBC.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has mandated that shipping lines either clean up emissions or use bunker fuel that has no more than 0.5% m/m sulfur by 2020. The current permissible level is 3.5% m/m.
KBC, a leading consultancy and software provider to the global energy and chemical industry, surveyed refiners across the US, Europe, the Former Soviet Union and South Africa about their attitudes to the upcoming regulation.
Stephen George, Chief Economist, KBC, said: “While the shipping industry expects the refiners to meet their supply requirements, the refining industry is still waiting to know to what extent the shipping industry will install emission ‘scrubbers’ on board.
“This disconnect proves that now is the time for refiners to assess what choices are available and the decisions to be made for a strategic pathway forward.
“This is a wakeup call. Failure of refiners to study, agree and implement a robust strategy will leave many of the ‘less complex’ refineries severely economically disadvantaged.
“With refineries suffering in recent years from overcapacity and oversupply, the bunker fuel transition may prove a perfect time to implement new margin-boosting technology – although a one size fits all approach is not recommended. Implementing such technology for the reduction of other emissions and meeting other regulatory requirements at the same time may help to future-proof refineries while boosting margins and delivering the cleaner fuels that the shipping industry will continue to require. New refinery optimisation strategies based on rigorous simulations, analytics and real-time data integration will assure continued compliance without sacrificing margin capture and subsequently protecting the price at the pump for consumers.”
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/refining/14072017/refineries-unprepared-for-sulfur-emission-changes/