Oil majors ready with very low sulphur fuels for shipping industry

State-run oil companies Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC) are gearing up to meet the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) deadline of ships using fuel oil with very low content of sulphur from January 1, 2020. They use what is called in common mans parlance - furnace oil, which has a high level of sulphur that is a major air pollutant.

IOC Executive Director P. Jayadevan told shipping companies on Monday that it has already positioned very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) with 0.5 % sulphur content in western ports in the country.

Speaking at a regional seminar on IMO 2020 sulphur implementation cap and impact on Indian waters organised here by Mercantile Marine Department (MMD), he said VLSFO would be available in a weeks time at ports along the eastern coast. Depending on the demand, in some ports, the company will ensure availability of sufficient quantity of both low and high sulphur content fuel oil until conversion of ships happen completely, Mr. Jayadevan added.

HPCLs Amit Kote said that his company too would be producing 5,000-10,000 tonnes of straight run fuels from the first week of November per month initially. Its Mumbai and Vishakapatnam refineries would produce VLSFO.

Principal Officer-cum-Joint Director General of Shipping (tech), MMD, Ajithkumar Sukumaran explained th....

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