February 9, 2018 / 9:31 AM / a year ago

Poland's Plock refinery, eyeing sulphur rules, to install visbreaking unit

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) -

* Poland’s PKN Orlen is building a clean fuels upgrading unit at its 330,000 barrel per day (bpd) Plock refinery this year as oil companies across Europe prepare for stricter environmental rules on shipping from 2020

* The unit, a visbreaker, helps cut output of sulphur-rich fuel oil in favour of more valuable cleaner products such as distillates

* A spokesman said the company is investing 600 million zloty ($176 million) with completion expected by the end of 2020

* It has said the visbreaker will enable an additional product yield of 1,200 tonnes per day

* From 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will slash the amount of sulphur that can be emitted from ships, which is expected to cut demand for fuel oil and has created a serious challenge for refiners

* Companies including ExxonMobil and Total have invested in refinery upgrades to produce lower sulphur fuels in advance of the new shipping rules and also tighter limits worldwide on sulphur in automotive fuels ($1 = 3.4123 zlotys) (Reporting by Libby George; editing by Jason Neely)

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