Jamaica’s energy minister has assured that the state-owned oil refinery has undertaken the necessary infrastructural and operational upgrades to meet new global sulphur content standards for bunker fuel.
Fayval Williams gave the assurance as new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) legislation regulating the sulphur content in marine fuel takes effect in January 2020.
The new law requires the sulphur content in marine fuels used by ships to be reduced from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent.
According to the energy minister, Petrojam stands ready to supply 0.5 per cent bunker fuel at the right price and quality to the market.
Williams was delivering the keynote address at the gala dinner of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica /International Bunker Industry Association Second Caribbean Bunker Conference, at the Iberostar Suites Resort, on September 12.
She said that the State-owned oil refinery, which began offering bunker fuels in 2001, has made tremendous strides in its offerings and compliance with international standards.
“Over the past year, Petrojam has expanded bunker fuel sales to all ports islandwide, continued its supply of low-sulphur marine gas oil and instituted long-term bulk supply by pipeline in Ocho Rios via lease arrangement with West Indies Petroleum,” Williams noted.
“In 2016, ultra-low sulphur diesel was introduced by the refinery as a bunker fuel and in 2017, the entity began to supply RMK 500 (a high viscosity fuel oil). Currently, Petrojam supplies marine oil at 0.5 per cent sulphur directly to customers, Ready to Work Oil (RTW), at all ports in Jamaica, intermediate fuel oil, ultra-low sulphur diesel at 15 parts per million and low sulphur to bunkering companies for sale to vessels,” she added.
The energy minister pointed out that the local market for bunker fuel is approximately 3.5 million barrels, with current sales volume at approximately two million barrels per year, representing about 15 per cent of Petrojam’s local sales.
“Petrojam is making all the relevant infrastructural, operational and procurement preparations to ensure that we are ready for the switchover,” she said.