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SK Chemicals begins testing bio heavy oil as vessel fuel

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Dry Bulk,

SK Chemicals Co., the chemical and pharmaceutical unit under South Korean conglomerate SK Group, has launched a project to use bio heavy oil as vessel fuel amid rising demand for cleaner energy sources.

According to industry sources, SK Chemicals has started safety and feasibility tests on bio heavy oil for powering large vessels like container ships. Bio heavy oil is environmentally-friendly fuel for power generation, made from animal fat, leftover cooking oil, and by-products of bio-diesel processing.

SK Chemicals started bio heavy oil business in 2006. The company is the first in Korea to supply bio heavy oil to local power plants including state-run Korea Midland Power Co. in 2014. It produced 80 000 kilolitres of heavy oil and earned US$43 million in revenue from the business last year.

Bio heavy fuel has lower fuel efficiency compared to traditional bunker oil for powering ships but it has an advantage in cost as it is priced at only 40% of low-sulfur fuel oil. Starting on 1 January 2020, all ships must use fuel with less than 0.5% sulfur to comply with IMO’s new regulation.

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