Shell Upgrades Refinery to Meet 2020 Sulphur Limit


Royal Dutch Shell is considering expanding the capacity of one of its German refineries, aiming to produce oil that will meet the requirements of the upcoming sulphur limit in marine fuels.

In the last few days, representatives from Rheinland refinery met with local officials and environmental groups to present preliminary plans for an investment at the plant’s 140,000-barrels-per-day Wesseling site, according to the company’s statement.

Specifically, the company examines a modernization of the local processing unit, in order to boost the desulphurization plant in the refinery, Shell told Reuters. An official planning is yet to be revealed, as considerations are at an early stage at the moment.

The decision to implement a global sulphur limit of 0.50% m/m (mass/mass) in 2020 was taken by IMO, the regulatory authority for international shipping, during its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), meeting for its 70th session in London. The initiative represents a significant cut from the 3.5% m/m global limit currently in place and is aligned with IMO’s efforts to reduce shipping emissions.

However, a recent survey by KBC consultancy revealed that only 15 percent of the global refineries surveyed are ready to meet these tighter sulphur regulations.

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