Editor's Comment: New refining opportunitiesby Martin Menachery on Jan 10, 2017
Welcome to January 2017 Refining and Petrochemicals Middle East.
In my first editorial for the publication, a subject which came to my mind for covering is the decision of International Maritime Organisation to reduce the sulphur cap on marine fuels for ships by January 2020, from the existing 3.5% to 0.5%.
The initiation of this cap is expected to create watershed changes in the refining market. One of the anticipated changes is that the more modern and flexible refineries in the Middle East may flourish and make better profit margins as a result of the cap. The decision gives refiners an opportunity to position themselves on the profitable side of a major change taking place in the market. While examples like the recent contract between Neste and Viking Line for the delivery of low-sulphur marine fuel are promising a brighter future for the refiners with flexibility to offer the product soon or within the deadline, they must walk cautious steps since alternatives to low-sulphur fuel are also in the pipeline, for example ships powered by LNG.
Interestingly, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East – in its 10th year of publishing – has emerged as the premier source of authentic news, data and analyses for the region’s downstream professionals. As the editor of this magazine, I will continue the endeavour to showcase the complex dynamics of the refining and petrochemical business, its innovations, challenges, opportunities, success stories, leaders, projects, technologies etc, also with active participation by the downstream community.
Your comments, ideas, suggestions and criticism to enhance the usefulness of the magazine are most welcome.