Japan’s Cosmo Oil stockpiling low sulphur fuel ahead of IMO 2020

Japan’s refiner Cosmo Oil has confirmed that it is stockpiling very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) for supply to the domestic marine fuel market from October, ahead of IMO 2020, reports said.

The third largest Japanese refiner is using VLSFO produced at its residue desulphuriser unit at its Chiba refinery near Tokyo to build stocks, according to Shunichi Tanaka, president of Cosmo Oil.

“We still have some spare capacity at our residue desulphuriser so we can produce more low sulphur fuel oil to supply to the bunker market,” Tanaka told Reuters.

Cosmo Oil’s move to accumulate stocks and sell VLSFO is a response to the upcoming IMO regulation to limit bunker fuel sulphur content to a maximum of 0.5%, down from the current cap of 3.5%. The global regulation will be enforced from 1 January 2020.

Read more: Japan ready for IMO 2020 after coastal vessels trial

Ocean-going vessels, however, can also choose to retrofit scrubbers so as to continue burning the less costly high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO).

Tanaka said that out of the six oil tankers under long term charter by Cosmo Oil, half of them are fitted with scrubbers while the remaining units will use the compliant 0.5% low sulphur fuel.

Posted 10 September 2019

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Lee Hong Liang

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Asia Correspondent Lee Hong Liang has joined Seatrade as its Asia Correspondent. Based in Singapore, he will provide a significant boost to daily coverage of the Asian shipping markets, as well as bring with him an indepth, specialist knowledge of the bunkering markets. Throughout Hong Liang’s 14-year career as a maritime journalist, he has reported ‘live’ news from conferences, conducted one-on-one interviews with top officials, and the ability to write hard news and feature stories.

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