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IMO 2020: Opportunities for Refining Margin Enhancement

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 17, 2020
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 slashes marine sector emissions in international waters. The sulfur emissions from marine fuels will have to be reduced by 80% and a large part of this will achieved by switching to low sulfur fuel oils. IMO 2020 compliant fuel oils will have a maximum sulfur content of 0.5wt% as opposed to 3.5wt% prevalent today. This will be a large change considering that 3.9 Million Barrels/day of Marine fuels was consumed in 2017.

The market response to the change is still developing, price of IMO 2020 compliant fuels are inching towards ULSD and the price of Heavy Sulfur Fuel oils (HSFO) has dropped by about 15 – 20 USD/barrel and is trading at about half the price of Brent Crude Oil. This scenario is likely to continue.

This paper investigates the refining strategies that can upgrade these attractively priced HSFO streams in existing refineries to high value products by modifying the catalyst systems. This kind of approach does not require big ticket capital expenditure but will significantly improve the refining margins.

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