The first batch of a new improved environmentally friendly marine fuel* has been produced at the Omsk Refinery. The fuel’s minimum sulphur content —of no more than 0.1 percent — means the product is suitable for use in emission control zones** as defined under the MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.*** The fuel is also certified as complying with Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) regulations.
The Omsk Refinery plans to ship up to 50,000 tonnes of environmentally friendly marine fuel by the end of this year. Market potential is estimated at 158,000 tonnes per year. Sales of this new brand will be handled by Gazprom Neft’s marine bunkering business, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker.
The technology for producing low-sulphur marine fuels through the catalytic cracking of hydrotreated vacuum gas oil was developed by specialists of the Omsk Refinery in 2016. The new brand formulation includes an additive that reduces cold-flow (reciprocal viscosity) temperature and prevents wax settlement in the fuel. Production of this new marine fuel has been made possible through a project involving the reconstruction of commercial production facilities, implemented as part of the Omsk Refinery’s thoroughgoing modernisation programme. During reconstruction, more than three kilometres of pipelines have been installed, running from the KT-1/1 atmospheric residue deep conversion unit to the compressor station, and the overhead rail loading rack modernised. Total investment in the project stands at RUB200 million.
* RMG-80 — a low-viscosity Residual Marine Grade fuel with a sulphur content of less than 1000 ppm.
** SECA — Sulphur Emission Control Area — a specific maritime navigation area (including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel) in which vessels are required to use low-sulphur fuels.
*** MARPOL — the “International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships”. An amendment to the main treaty in early 2015 introduced a further regulation governing the permissible amount of sulphur in marine fuels used in vessels covering Sulphur Emission Control Areas.