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Oil upgrading technology could save ‘billions’ on bunkers

17 Sep 2018

Genoil’s Hydroconversion Upgrader (GHU) technology, which converts heavy or sour crude oil into light low sulphur oil for a low cost, could save the shipping industry billions of dollars if 20% of the world fleet chooses to use it, says the clean technology engineering firm.

The GHU, which uses improved patented fixed bed reactor technology, can be built alongside existing refinery infrastructure in major bunkering hubs.

Measuring as little as 50m x 80m, the GHU unit costs between $30 million and $80 million to install per one million tonnes per year of capacity.

Based on Genoil’s predicted crude prices, which have been reviewed by independent bodies, an initial investment of $30 million could achieve payback in less than three months with current market spreads.

“As global demand rises for lower sulphur HSFO to meet more stringent environmental regulations, the bunker fuel price spread is likely to increase significantly,” says Genoil.

“Moreover, refiners have finally blinked in their investment standoff with the shipping industry, loosening the purse strings to reduce fuel oil output ahead of the IMO’s 2020 regulations, with financing finally set to flow into additions and expansions of coking, cracking and deasphalting units in parts of Europe, Asia and South America.

“Conversely, it is also important to note that if refiners convert to producing a gasoil equivalent, the effect on the world fleet's engines designed for HFO with high sulphur will be adverse versus Genoil’s product, which keeps the heavy oil side but removes the sulphur to make it in compliance – also removing the risk to shipowners of having to foot huge fuel bills, that – according to Mitsui – could bankrupt certain players in the industry.”

To date, Genoil is now working on two additional tests; one for a global, independent assurance group servicing the shipping industry for the purpose of advising the shipping industry regarding the Genoil solution to the 2020 sulphur problem and the other is a test for a major, national oil company.

Published: 17 September, 2018

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