2020 bunker fuels

Meeting the low sulphur challenge

The 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap is driving change across the shipping and refining industries. With less than three years to implement the investments needed to meet anticipated demand for low sulphur fuels, refiners are looking for ways to produce more high quality low sulphur fuels in a robust and cost effective way.

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Under MARPOL Annex VI, the International Maritime Organization will cut the global sulphur cap from 3.5% to 0.5% on January 1 2020, which represents an 85% decrease. It is currently unclear if shippers will continue to use high sulphur heavy fuel oil (HFO) and install exhaust scrubbers, or switch to low sulphur bunker fuel (LSF) or liquid natural gas. Since each scenario has associated issues, including implementation and running costs, there is unlikely to be a clear winner. But, whatever the outcome, there is expected to be a significant disruption in the oil market. Clearly, the low sulphur fuel route would have the most impact on refiners.

If the majority of shippers opt for the LSF option refiners will need to work hard to meet anticipated demand.

Challenges for refiners

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To produce 0.5% sulphur bunker fuel from HFO in compliance with regulations is costly. It only makes sense when bunker fuel prices are high enough to cover the necessary refinery investments.

Bunker fuel additives can be used to ensure the cost effective production of fit for purpose low sulphur fuels.

300X300 Icons4Improve refinery economics

Bunker fuel additives are powerful tools that can deliver opportunities for the economic production of high quality, high value low sulphur marine fuels.

Infineum bunker fuel additives are backed by technical expertise and supported by a global supply chain.

Because one additive series can be used to treat a wide range of fuels it can provide a cost effective way to upgrade refinery streams.



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Lower pour point

The use of bunker fuel additives can substantially depress pour point, allowing lower value streams to be used.Low sulphur fuels may have a high pour point, which means wax can solidify in fuels stored below this temperature, potentially causing significant operational issues.

By reducing the temperature at which the wax forms, fuels can be run over a much wider temperature range.

In addition, the use of additives to improve low temperature properties can help to reduce handling and transportation costs.


300X300 Icons V2Improve CFPP performance

Cold filter plugging point (CFPP) is an important performance parameter, one that in future may be included in ISO 8217.

In addition, since heating distillate fuels is unadvisable, their wider use in marine applications means CFPP is likely to require more attention.

Advanced cold flow bunker fuel additive solutions can provide effective CFPP performance.

This could help to ensure trouble free ship operation – even at very low temperatures.

At the same time, bunker fuel additives can be used to widen the gap between Cloud Point and CFPP, allowing refiners to raise the cloud point and maximise the economics of fuel production.

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The use of low sulphur distillate and heavy fuels, which have a lower natural lubricity than conventional fuels, may have the potential to cause increased wear.

Infineum lubricity additives, which have been field-proven in over one billion tonnes of fuel, provide the right level of lubricity performance – even in difficult to treat fuels.

Extensive market understanding and excellent technical support enable Infineum to tailor lubricity additive solutions. This allows us to meet specific refinery requirements, which means the additives can fit seamlessly into refinery operations.

Capturing value

Value opportunities for low sulphur marine fuels are emerging across the globe and the use of proven bunker fuel additives can help refiners to capture them.

With global supply capabilities and extensive technical expertise, Infineum is well positioned to supply additives that can assist refiners to cost effectively maximise the production of high quality low sulphur marine fuels to meet growing market demand.

Please use the contact form here to request more information about Infineum bunker fuel additives.

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