HPCL Begins Supply Of IMO 2020-Compliant Low-Sulphur Shipping Fuel
A ship is seen near a port. (Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg News)

HPCL Begins Supply Of IMO 2020-Compliant Low-Sulphur Shipping Fuel

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Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. on Friday said it has commenced delivery of low-sulphur shipping fuel, complying with International Maritime Organisation's new norms for cleaner emissions.

The IMO 2020 rules require maximum sulphur content in shipping fuel reduced to 0.5 percent from the previous levels of 3.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Vessels that use higher-sulphur fuel oil must have special pollution control systems in place to reduce sulphur emissions.

"HPCL launched IMO-2020 compliant very low sulphur fuel oil at Visakhapatnam (in Andhra Pradesh) on Jan. 2," a company statement said. The first batch of VLSFO was produced in HPCL's Visakh refinery in early December 2019, and was formally launched on Thursday, it said.

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. began producing IMO-compliant shipping fuel from October last year.

Indian refiners currently supply around 15,000 barrels of shipping fuel per day.

HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh K Surana said that the company has always been in the forefront of providing cleaner and sustainable solutions.

"From Jan. 1, 2020, IMO has enforced a 0.5 percent global sulphur cap on fuel for areas which till Dec. 31, 2019, were allowed to use fuel oil with 3.5 percent sulphur. In these areas, all ships are now required to use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent, unless they use exhaust gas cleaning systems like scrubbers," he said.

Surana said HPCL's very-low-sulphur fuel oil will help the shipping companies to respond to the tightening regulation on sulphur dioxide emissions by offering this IMO-2020 compliant shipping fuel.

HPCL owns and operates refineries at Visakhapatnam on the east coast and Mumbai on the west coast. It plans to expand production capacity at the Visakh plant from 8.33 million tonne per annum to 15 million tonne per annum and that of Mumbai refinery from 7.5 million tonne to 9.5 million tonne per annum.

HPCL is also part owner of an 11.3 MTPA refinery at Bhatinda in Punjab, alongwith ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal. It is also setting up a 9 million tonne refinery and petrochemical complex at Barmer in Rajasthan.

HPCL has the largest lube refinery in India at Mumbai and owns the second largest cross-country petroleum pipeline network and vast marketing infrastructure in the country, the statement added.

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