Energy company Astron Energy’s refinery has been successfully supplying ships in the ports of Cape Town and Richards Bay with low-sulphur fuel oil for the last month.
The oil meets the stringent new International Maritime Organisation regulations, which had to be met by refineries globally by January 1, when the maximum permissible global sulphur content of marine fuels reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%.
Astron Energy had invested about R400-million in its Milnerton refinery to produce very low sulphur fuel oil.
“This was a major transition for two important global industries – shipping and refining. Making sure Cape Town had very low sulphur fuel oil that met the new regulations by new year was vital for Astron and the port.
“We had worked hard to implement the substantial and complex changes that were required in our refining processes,” said Astron CEO Jonathan Molapo.
Astron’s Milnerton refinery produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, liquid petroleum gas, bitumen gas and other speciality products.