The first-ever shipment of UAE-produced calcined coke has begun its maiden voyage to mainland China.
Some 10,500 tons of calcined coke were loaded by Adnoc Refining, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), onto the M/V Lucky Ocho, a vessel chartered by Adnoc Logistics and Services, to be delivered in Yantai, China, by the end of April 2019, said a Wam news agency report.
The first shipment of this high-value product represents the latest milestone in Adnoc’s effort to reduce production of high-sulfur fuel oil (or ‘residue oil’) – and move towards being a ‘zero-fuel oil’ refining business.
Adnoc made zero-fuel oil refining a high priority when the International Marine Organisation’s (IMO) 2020 Regulation was first proposed – aimed at reducing the sulfur content contained in marine fuels from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent – in an effort to limit the potential environmental impact of global shipping fleets.
IMO 2020 is expected to have a profound impact on the global refining and transport fuels industry. Adnoc commissioned, in September 2018, its multi-billion-dollar Carbon Black and Delayed Coker Unit. The unit – which produced the UAE’s first-ever calcined coke, currently being shipped to China – allows Adnoc to extract the maximum value from sulfur-heavy ‘bottom-of-the-barrel’ oils and slurry, as it delivers on its Downstream strategy.
“This milestone represents a significant step towards being a refining business capable of producing ‘zero-fuel oil’. Adnoc will continue to invest in an effort to broaden our product offering amidst evolving market conditions, ensuring we reduce our environmental footprint and maintain IMO-compliance leading up to 2020 and beyond,” Jasem Al Sayegh, CEO of Adnoc Refining, commented.
Increasing the flexibility of Adnoc’s refining assets to stretch the value of every barrel of oil – and produce additional feedstocks and additives for the petrochemical industry – is a key pillar of Adnoc’s Downstream expansion strategy, which was announced at its Downstream Investment Forum last year.
The strategy will see Adnoc become a world-class producer, supplier and trader of refined and petrochemical products, as it focuses on growth markets in Asia, including China.