KPC has woken up to the fact that IMO 2020 bunkering rules – which enter force in less than five months – will render obsolete planned sulfur levels in fuel from its under-construction 615,000 b/d Al Zour refinery. Its solution is to expand a planned RFCC. Expect further delays to a plant originally slated for 2019 start-up.

Kipic, a subsidiary of Kuwait state firm KPC, is building a giant 615,000 b/d refinery at Al Zour. The plant is slated to start units from late 2020. But in the meantime new IMO maritime sulfur content rules take effect on 1 January 2020. These rules will limit to 0.5% the maximum sulfur content in bunker fuel, rendering Al Zour’s planned 1% sulfur heavy fuel output obsolete even before the plant starts up. Post-IMO 2020 the market for such fuel will be limited to that of a cut-price blendstock and power plant fuel. (CONTINUED - 1083 WORDS)