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China: Sinopec Hainan escalates LSFO production to achieve economies of scale

19 May 2020

Disclaimer: An online translation service was used in the production of the current editorial piece.

Sinopec Hainan Petrochemical on Monday (18 May) said it has recently successfully blended a ‘waste crop’ of slurry oil into highly marketable low sulphur marine fuel. 

In late April, its 5,000 dwt product tanker Da’an 28 was fully loaded with low sulphur marine fuel and set sail from the Sinopec Hainan Refining and Chemical Oil Product Terminal.

As of Friday (15 May), 14,000 metric tonnes of low sulphur marine fuel blended from slurry oil has been produced at the Sinnopec Hainan refinery, bringing a profit of RMB 1.425 million (USD 200,433) and an expected annual profit of RMB 72 million (USD 10.13 million), noted the company.

“Slurry oil is a by-product of the refinery’s fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) converting the heavy portion of crude oil feedstock into lighter petroleum products like gasoline and diesel,” said the source in charge of Sinopec Hainan’s FCCU.

“Some refineries use slurry oil as coker feed or sell slurry oil as low quality fuel. But after some calculations, we found it made more commercial sense to use slurry oil as a fuel blending component to create a higher value product.”

In its initial stages for the production of low sulphur marine fuel, the refinery mainly used atmospheric residue desulfurization (RDS) technologies which put a strain on the FCCU, it said.

The various departments then carried out experiments on deliming agents, combustion tests for blending slurry oil with low sulphur bunker fuels. 

The team managed to create a blending process that reduces waste while producing a high quality product by using slurry oil as a raw material to blend low sulphur marine fuel oil, it said.

As it is located in a strategic location along the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, Sinopec Hainan adds that it plans to take full advantage of its geographical position to reduce fuel transportation costs, and transfer excess capacity of fuel from inland refineries to ports. 

Photo credit: Amber Case
Published: 19 May, 2020

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