French technology firm Ecoslops is looking at the UK as a possible next location for its oil recycling business.
Chief executive of the company, Vincent Favier, told that the company sees the UK as another potential market.
“We are looking for a partner there,” he said. In addition to its Sines plant in Portugal, the company has a projects in France and Belgium.
The company’s business model centres on proprietary technology which processes the used oil from ships – called slops – to produce refined oil products including bunker fuel to be sold into the open market.
The ISO 8217 2010 standard 0.3% sulfur marine gasoil (mgo) coming out of its Portuguese plant would be the most likely product to enter the bunker market, Favier said. However, the marine market is seen as one destination for its oil products within the general market for refined oil.
“We are not aiming at the marine market specifically,” Favier explained. Third parties in the bunker space, such as blending companies, would likely be interested in the mgo, he said.
Ecoslops’ product range covers gasoil, fuel oil and light bitumen. In addition, naphtha will soon join the list.
Production units are located at ports to minimize transportation and logistical costs. And the company is similarly looking at a port location in the UK.
“We want to retain first mover advantage by making sure we have the pick of the best locations,” Favier said.
“The logistical cost element is important [to the business case] and, in a low crude oil price environment, even more so,” he added.
Two plants in France and Belgium are both located at ports. The Marseille plant, where naphtha will be produced, should become operational by the end of next year while the Antwerp plant should follow a year after that.
If the costs attributed to the French holding company are removed from the equation, the Sines plant is profitable. Favier said the Sines profits could have been used to fund subsequent development. But rather than waiting, the company has gone to the French capital markets to secure financial backing.
The technology prototype was first trialed in Malta and then proved its worth at Sines. On that basis, the company is confident of future success.
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