ADNOC has sent the first-ever shipment of UAE-produced calcined coke to mainland China, as it moves towards cutting back residue oil production.
The 10,500 tons-shipment of calcined coke was loaded by ADNOC Refining, a subsidiary of 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, ADNOC said in a statement.
The first shipment of this high-value product represents the latest milestone in ADNOC’s effort to reduce production of high-sulphur fuel 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 sulphur 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 sulphur-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.”
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.
ADNOC’s multi-billion-dirham Downstream investment program will see the company’s refining capacity increase by more than 65 percent, or 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), by 2025, through the addition of a third refinery, creating a total capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day (mbpd). The new refinery will significantly increase the capability, flexibility and output of Abu Dhabi’s refining operations by adding to the range of crudes that can be processed.
ADNOC also plans to build one of the world’s largest mixed feed crackers, which will enable it to produce additional feedstocks and additives for the petrochemicals industry.