Oil report

Sinopec to start producing low-sulphur bunker fuel at Qilu by end-Oct

BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Sinopec Corp expects to start operations at the marine fuel oil blending facilities at its Qilu refinery in eastern China’s Shandong province by the end of October, the company said on Thursday.

Work on the blending facilities is in “full swing” and on completion the first phase will have a production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year of low-sulphur marine fuel, Sinopec said on its official news website.

Sinopec, Asia’s top refiner, has been making adjustments at its plants to ensure its marine fuel meets International Maritime Organization (IMO) emission standards coming into force on Jan. 1, 2020.

The IMO rules ban ships from using fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.5% next year, compared with 3.5% now, unless they are equipped with exhaust “scrubbers” to clean up sulphur emissions.

Sinopec plans to have a company-wide low-sulphur fuel oil production capacity of 10 million tonnes per year by 2020.

A second phase at the Qilu plant will have a capacity of 1 million tonnes per year, or one-tenth of the total target, Sinopec said. (Reporting by Tom Daly and Muyu Xu; editing by Christian Schmollinger)