EghtesadOnline: To conform with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new regulations for a 0.5% global sulphur cap for marine fuels, Nouri Petrochemical Company will start producing low-sulphur fuel from March, head of the Bushehr-based company said.
"Machinery and equipment in the plant are being upgraded to decrease current sulphur level in mazut and diesel from 3.5% to 0.5%," Taqi Sanei was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The company has invested $120 million to build a (heavy end) refining facility in which sulfur content in mazut and diesel will be reduced to less than 0.5%.
Under the new global cap, as of January 2020 ships will have to use marine fuels with a sulphur content of no more than 0.5% against the current limit of 3.5% in an effort to reduce the amount of sulphur oxide, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts, according to Financial Tribune.
According to the official, Iran's shipping fleet annually needs at least 2 million tons of mazut.
Several refineries including Shazand Refinery in the central city of Arak, Markazi Province are undergoing changes to either reduce mazut output or produce mazut with less sulphur.
Regarding alternatives to achieve a compliant fuel oil [if the deadline (Jan 2020) cannot be met], he said that ships can install exhaust gas cleaning systems, known as “scrubbers” that can help decrease sulphur content.
Furthermore, ships can use engines that run on different fuels such as liquefied natural gas or biofuels, or as a last resort mazut can be blended with low-sulphur diesel, which is economically unfeasible.
Crude oil contains sulphur which, following combustion in the engine, ends up in ship emissions. Sulphur oxide (SOx) is known to be harmful to human health, causing respiratory symptoms and lung disease.
In the atmosphere, SOx can lead to acid rain, which can harm crops, forests and aquatics and contribute to acidification of the oceans. Limiting SOx emissions from ships helps improve air quality and protects the environment.
Nouri company’s annual output is 2.9 million tons, of which 60% is exported.