Australia’s Viva Energy Launches New Low Sulphur Fuel for IMO 2020

ShippingIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Viva Energy Australia has launched its new very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), developed to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) new regulations on fuel sulphur content.

Manufactured locally at Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery, the new VLSFO is the first low sulphur fuel oil to be produced in Australasia.

The fuel, which has been in development for over 12 months, has been “successfully trialed by a number of customers” and will be available in Melbourne and Geelong from October 2019, according to the company.

“The introduction of this new fuel is a significant milestone for Viva Energy and our shipping customers. It’s a testament to our technical and refinery capabilities, our ongoing commitment to meet the needs of our customers, and our support for tighter fuel quality standards which can benefit the environment,” Scott Wyatt, Viva Energy CEO, said.

“By leveraging our technical and local refining expertise, we have created a high quality fuel that ships can rely on to ensure compliance with the new regulations, with no detriment to operational safety and efficiency, while driving significant savings versus other fuels such as Marine Gas Oil (MGO).”

Furthermore, in comparing Viva Energy’s new VLSFO to other IMO 2020 compliant fuels, namely diesel and MGO, the company said the new fuel has some notable advantages, including an expected price benefit.

“Viva Energy’s VLSFO is expected to be cheaper than diesel and MGO. Its viscosity and lubricity are better than diesel’s, and it is higher in density meaning ships have the ability to run further on VLSFO. Compared to high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), VLSFO is superior in terms of fuel economy, ignition characteristics, and of course, the environmental benefits it has through reduced emissions,” Thys Heyns, Geelong Refinery’s General Manager, added.

TT-Line, operator of Spirit of Tasmania I and II, is the first customer to make the switch to Viva Energy’s VLSFO following a trial in July and August this year. The trial proved the fuel to be volatile and allowed the engines to reach maximum power output.

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