An executive with Sinopec Corp, Asia’s top refiner, has asked the Chinese government to introduce tax rebates and a quota system to boost domestic production of cleaner shipping fuel ahead of tighter global regulations set to take effect next year, state-run China Energy News reported.
Zhang Chunsheng, chairman of Sinopec’s Jinling Petrochemical, one of the country’s largest oil refineries, made the proposal during the annual parliament meeting in Beijing this week. China imports nearly 90 percent of the currently 10 million tonnes per year of marine fuel it consumes, with domestic refineries facing comparatively high taxes on the fuel.
Zhang called for rebates of value-added tax and a waiver of consumption tax for 0.5 percent sulphur fuel oil. He also asked the government to consider setting export quotas specifically for the fuel to boost overseas shipments.
Two Sinopec plants have in recent months refined their first cargoes of the low-sulphur fuel oil, in pilot production ahead of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) deadline to roll out the cleaner fuel.
The IMO will ban ships from using fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, unless they are equipped with exhaust “scrubbers” to clean sulphur emissions.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Chen Aizhu Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)