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KBC to present at ERTC

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

At this year’s ERTC conference, KBC’s Senior Staff Consultant, Joris Mertens, will give a presentation on the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulfur bunker fuel regulations.

Mr Mertens will discuss the global specification that requires oil businesses to reduce their sulfur fuel consumption by 0.5%, and the impact this will have on the shipping and refining industries.

Mr Mertens observes that a large number of businesses are not yet properly equipped for this transition and will need to revisit their business models. Therefore, the IMO’s decision puts pressure on these businesses to put an immediate plan of action in place in order to meet the necessary deadline. This will also affect them financially and businesses incapable to adjust may face the risk of closing down.

Addressing these issues at ERTC, Mr Mertens will explain how the fuel market and bunker fuel market will look in 2020 and how to approach this regulation. In addition, he will highlight the different factors that need to be taken into consideration before embracing this plan. One key factor impacting this decision will be the location of the refinery, as this will determine the future prices and availability of crude oil in the market. Another factor is the complexity of the refinery, and lastly the amount of investment that businesses can afford to make.

KBC will also touch upon the impact on the value of intermediate refinery products and mention different investment strategies that refineries can apply to achieve the IMO 2020 goal.

Apart from the challenges, the IMO 2020 regulation will carry various opportunities for some refineries. For instance, businesses able to produce on-purpose motor fuels (components low in sulfur) will not have to worry about the price hike in the market due to high demand. Mr Mertens will explore similar examples at the conference.

Mr Mertens’ talk at ERTC is scheduled for 14 November 2017.

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