The first-ever shipment of UAE-produced calcined coke has begun its maiden voyage to mainland China. 10 500 t 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 & Services, to be delivered in Yantai, China by the end of April 2019.
The first shipment of this high-value product represents the latest milestone in ADNOC’s effort to reduce production of high-sulfur fuel oil (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 Organization’s (IMO) 2020 Regulation was first proposed – aimed at reducing the sulfur content contained in marine fuels from 3.5% to 0.5% – 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. In September 2018, ADNOC commissioned its multi-billion-dollar carbon black and delayed coker unit in Ruwais. 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.
Jasem Al Sayegh, CEO of ADNOC Refining, said: “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.”