Skip to main content

EUROPEAN REFINERIES UNPREPARED FOR IMO 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 

According to a global study of senior employees in the refining industry, commissioned by asset optimisation software company Aspen Technology, European refineries expect a large impact from IMO 2020 regulations, yet just 23% of these refineries are focusing on operational improvements targeting higher availability to make low sulphur fuels.

The survey revealed a shortfall globally in refineries with this focus on clean fuels, with just 37% claiming to be doing that as a result of IMO 2020. However, 43% of refineries globally are focusing on operational improvements targeted at improved overall utilisation. 64% of oil refineries, globally, have made no capital expenditure against IMO 2020 regulations.

The study found that refineries expect fuel oil production is likely to fall as a result of IMO 2020, with 34% of refineries globally expecting to produce less fuel oil in 2020, while just 24% expected to increase production.

Ron Beck, Industry Marketing Director, AspenTech, said: “We are in a challenging period, but there are still many margin improvement opportunities refineries can make. There are two clear options to help them compete: operational improvements to increase utilization or increased availability.  Today’s technology can improve both. Given the overall reduction in production that IMO 2020 is likely to bring, fuels that enable shippers to comply will be comparatively more valuable in the market. It’s concerning that most refineries are failing to focus on improved utilisation. Such investment is becoming ever more urgent as IMO 2020 approaches. Digital approaches can significantly help operators who have yet to decide on capital investments”

Additional key findings from the study:

  • 33% are upgrading equipment to process higher sulphur oil. Only 29% of plants are shifting to use lower sulphur crude slates to help cope with the regulation.
  • It appears likely that fuel oil production could fall as a result of IMO 2020, with 34% of refineries globally expecting to produce less fuel oil in 2020, while just 24% expected to increase production
  • BPCL Mumbai refinery in India achieved 90% improved sulphur recovery in under six months in 2018 by implementing digital twinning on its sulphur removal processes.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index

Web Analytics