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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

INTERTANKO wins support for distillates in Canada

The INTERTANKO option (the global use of distillates) for the revision of Annex VI was presented to a meeting of the Canadian Marine Advisory Council National held this week in Ottawa by INTERTANKO’s Research manager Erik Ranheim.

 

The main message conveyed in his presentation was that the world is moving away from using heavy fuel oil, and many refiners are investing in conversion plants for their residues to produce lighter and higher value products.

 

BP states on its web site that its policy has from the 1990s been moving towards producing cleaner products.

 

Neste Oil in Finland operates one of the largest refineries in Europe and has stopped producing liquid residues. Neste says that its fuel will meet the latest environmental requirements in Europe and N America. The refinery will be capable of considerably increasing the refining of very profitable products, such as sulphur-free diesel fuel.

 

The world's largest refinery in Jamnagar in India is aiming for only residue conversion.

 

Shell also sees the benefit of producing cleaner products, and a paper on its web site states: 'The fuel will meet the latest environmental requirements in Europe and N America. The refinery will be capable of considerably increasing the refining of very profitable products, such as sulphur-free diesel fuel' and concludes that residue upgrading benefits both the refinery and the community. Shell aims to:

 

·         "Enhance financial performance

·         Eliminate high sulphur fuel projects

·         Replace obsolete utility faculties

·         Meet future product specifications

·         Reduce total refinery emission

·         Provide cost-effective H2 production based on converting residue

·         Produce power for refinery use and export

·         Increase feedstock flexibility – chance to use low-cost crude oils.

·         Secure or even expand and business opportunities"

 

Click here for a Shell presentation entitled: 'New methods upgrade refinery residuals into lighter products'.

 

Ranheim gave 10 good reasons for using distillates for bunkers instead of heavy fuel oil HFO. Click here to view his presentation.

 

INTERTANKO is supported by the Canadian unions, environmental organisations, Canadian Chamber of Shipping and International Ship-Owners Alliance Of Canada (ISAC). INTERTANKO was in Ottawa to support ISAC. Secretary-General of ISAC Kaity Arsoniadis Stein gave a presentation in which she said ISAC opposed Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAS) because they do not address global transboundary air emissions. “They are a band aid approach which gives the optical illusion that countries are taking effective action.” She also said that scrubbers are plagued with problems. A major concern is that the wash water will contain sulphur pollutants and harm marine ecosystems. Studies show there will be adverse effects on algae and crustaceans, the bottom of the food chain. Owners would like to see the global use of distillates for a global industry operating in a global air shed. There are about 100 refineries worldwide. They are better positioned to clean the fuel and handle C02 emissions than the 50,000 ships. Ship owners want a solution which is environmentally friendly, global and simple. Heavy fuel oil is a difficult pollutant in water and causes much more, and longer lasting, damage than distillates. This is one reason the distillate option is supported by Friends of the Earth.

 

The oil industry was represented by Giles Morel, Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. His main points were that achieving a sulphur level below 1% remains very challenging. Refinery and consumer costs double when going from 1.5% to 0.5% sulphur, and refinery and consumer costs drop sharply as the proportion of such fuel required to meet the SECA standard is reduced. He said that the SECA approach is much more cost-effective than changing the fuel specification. Production of high quality fuel necessitates larger fuel volumes, increased refinery processing intensity, H2 coke production and CO2 emissions.

 

Contact: Erik Ranheim