MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poland's PKN Orlen is building a clean fuels upgrading unit at its 330,000 barrel bpd Plock refinery this year, as oil companies across Europe prepare for stricter environmental rules on shipping from 2020, reported Reuters.
The unit, a visbreaker, helps cut output of sulfur-rich fuel oil in favour of more valuable cleaner products such as distillates.
A spokesman said the company is investing USD176 million with completion expected by the end of 2020.
PKN Orlen 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 sulfur 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 sulfur fuels in advance of the new shipping rules, and also tighter limits worldwide on sulfur in automotive fuels.
As MRC informed before, in early May 2016, PKN ORLEN signed a contract with Saudi Aramco for the supply of ca. 200 thousand tonnes of crude oil monthly to its refineries. The contract was effective from May 1st to December 31st 2016, with an option of automatic renewal for successive years. The oil will be processed by all PKN ORLEN's refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
PKN Orlen is a major Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer. The company is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Baltic States.