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Argus Media: Japan’s Idemitsu raises VLSFO bunker fuel output

02 Jul 2020

Maiko Nakashima of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Wednesday (1 July) published an update on Japan’s refiner Idemitsu increasing its production of IMO 2020 compliant bunker fuel after its desulphurisation unit was upgraded: 

Japanese refiner Idemitsu is to increase supplies of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) to shipowners from its upgraded residue desulphuriser at its 190,000 b/d Chiba refinery.

The residue desulphuriser started up on 26 May, processing high-sulphur residue from the distillation units at the refinery. Chiba is ready to start supplies of bunker fuel compliant with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) sulphur cap implemented on 1 January, after running the unit for about a month.

Idemitsu forecasts the Chiba residue desulphuriser will increase its output of VLSFO by 3.15mn bl/yr or about 450,000 t/yr, while cutting output of HSFO by 3.77mn bl/yr or about 540,000 t/yr.

Vessels can continue using HSFO if they retrofit using scrubbers, which reduces emissions of sulphur dioxide (SOx). But it is becoming increasingly common among shipowners to switch their bunker fuel from HSFO to VLSFO to meet the IMO’s sulphur cap, instead of installing scrubbers. Japanese shipowners have installed the SOx capturing equipment to some of their vessels but this uptake remains no more than 10% of their fleets.


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 2 July, 2020


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