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Hyundai Oilbank patents manufacturing process for Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil

Hyundai Oilbank has developed and patented an original manufacturing process for its Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil, the company said Tuesday.

Sales of Hyundai Oilbank’s new fuel will begin in November as a preemptive solution to the imminent application of IMO 2020.

IMO 2020 is the new guideline from the International Maritime Organization that caps the sulfur level in marine fuel oil at 0.5 percent starting Jan. 1, 2020. It calls for over 80 percent reduction of sulfur emissions from the marine sector. 

VLSFO manufacturing facility / Hyundai Oilbank
VLSFO manufacturing facility / Hyundai Oilbank

Oil firms across the world are developing methods to supply oil that contains less sulfur.

Hyundai Oilbank said that it has found a way to completely remove asphaltene, the substance that impedes the stability of blended fuel oil. By solving the stability risk, the petrochemical firm was able to identify a mixture that reduces the sulfur rate to below 0.5 percent.

VLSFO as of late is being traded for a price approximately 30 percent higher than the marine oil of before.

The industry predicts the margin between the oil that fails to meet the IMO 2020 guideline and VLSFO to grow even greater.

Global research firm Energy Aspects anticipates that in 2020, over 50 percent of the worldwide marine fuel oil supply of 3 million barrels per day will be VLSFO. Also within the near future, VLSFO demand will rise to 2 million barrels per day, according to Energy Aspects.

This outlook, based on the current $80 per barrel of VLSFO, roughly translates to a daily gain of $160 million.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (