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SK Energy to start operations at new desulfurization facility in March

All News 11:00 February 02, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- SK Energy Co., South Korea's leading oil refinery and gas station operator, said Sunday it has completed the construction of a new desulfurization facility in the country, with commercial operations set to start in March.

Since 2017, SK Energy has spent 1 trillion won (US$837 million) on building the vacuum residue desulfurization (VRDS) facility, with a capacity of 40,000 barrels of low-sulfur fuel oil a day, in Ulsan, a southeastern port city, to cope with stringent regulations on ship fuel.

Starting this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations on sulfur content in marine fuel are in effect, limiting the sulfur cap of marine fuel to 0.5 percent from the current 3.5 percent.

To comply with IMO 2020, vessel operators need to either install exhaust gas cleaning systems, also called scrubbers, or use clean fuel, such as low-sulfur fuel oil, marine gas oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

To get benefits from IMO 2020, local refiners have been beefing up their desulfurization and upgrading facilities to produce more low-sulfur petroleum products.

SK Energy expects an additional profit of between 200 billion won and 300 billion won annually.

This undated photo provided by SK Energy Co. shows the construction site of the company's Vacuum Residue Desulfurization (VRDS) facility in Ulsan, South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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