Technology for reducing sulfur content of vessel fuel indigenized

October 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran has indigenized the technology for reducing the sulfur content of the fuel oil, which is used by the vessels, to less than 0.5 percent, IRIB reported.

According to the Managing Director of Iran’s Exir Novin Farayand Asia Company, the knowledge-based company has achieved this goal in collaboration with the Oil Industry Research Institute, and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

“By using this indigenous knowledge, Iranian fuel oil is desulfurized to be used in ships and tankers based on international standards,” Jalil Sobhani said.

The U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO) has drawn new regulations to curb pollution produced by the world’s ships.

The new rule will ban ships using fuel with a sulfur content higher than 0.5 percent, compared to 3.5 percent now, unless a vessel has equipment to clean up its sulfur emissions.
The new regulations are coming into force from 2020.

Iran's fuel oil is ranked among fuels with high amounts of sulfur due to the country’s crude type.

According to Vahid Sheikhi, a member of Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters' Union (known as OPEX), only a small share of the country’s refineries are currently producing fuel oil with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent.

The official noted that currently up to 30 percent of the country’s oil products share is fuel oil and so achieving this technology inside the country is a significant step in self-reliance of our shipping industry in the future.

Global maritime fuel consumption is roughly 5.5 million barrels per day, of which about 4 million barrels are of high sulfur. Iranian vessels currently consume about six million liters per day of fuel oil. 

Some countries have called for a delay in the implementation of IMO’s new standard by 2025 to adapt their facilities for producing low-sulfur fuel.

EF/MA

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