Saras will develop infrastructure that will allow ships to dock outside its Sarroch refinery in Sardinia to directly load low sulphur fuels.
“Today, bunkering is based mainly on blending. In the Mediterranean you have Malta, where people bring different fuels and blend it,” Dario Scaffardi, ceo of Saras, told Reuters.
“With the new (low sulphur) specs, this (blending) will be very difficult to achieve for technical reasons so people like us, who will be able to produce directly the new fuel, will have the competitive advantage,” Scaffardi said.
“With a small investment, we will have bunkering infrastructure and a lightering vessel and start selling locally fuels to expand the market,” he said, adding that the plant will initially produce 500,000-600,000 tonnes of ultra-low sulphur fuel oil per year.
“This is a new line of business and we should be able to adapt to various market needs,” he was reported saying.
From 1 January 2020, IMO will enforce the use of bunker fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, down from the current 3.5%, on a global scale.