HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal (HWTT), Germany’s largest independent liquid bulk terminal, has started up its low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) production unit, with a capacity of 2.5m t/y.
The unit will help to meet new demand for the more environmentally friendly LSFO, which has risen under new regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which came into force in January 2020. The maximum sulphur content of bunker fuel for vessels is now 0.5% instead of 3.5%.
HWTT, a subsidiary of Rotterdam-based provider of logistical services in ports HES International, did not build a new facility, but instead revamped an existing vacuum distillation unit, which had originally been built in 2004 and only operated for five years. It will now process low sulphur crude oils into LSFO, and rundown products such as gasoil, kerosene and naphtha.
Wilhelmshaven is the deepest draft port in Germany, and HWTT was formerly a refinery until bought by HES in 2011 and converted into a tank terminal. It now has a storage capacity of 1.3m m3 of crude oil, refined products and LPG, and has four seagoing vessel berth positions, as well as accommodating road and rail traffic.
HWTT says that a commitment of a world-class energy major, an existing customer, means that it has a reliable throughput partner for several years.
‘All permits are in place to operate the LSFO unit and the related tank storage capacity of over a third of the total terminal of 1.3m m3 tank storage capacity,’ says Managing Director of HWTT Thomas Jenke. ‘With the commissioning of the LSFO unit, we can add processing again to our business. A special moment for all involved who worked hard to achieve this memorable moment. The good cooperation with the Oldenburg Supervisory Authority and with the Wilhelmshaven Authorities has contributed to this success, as well as the hard work of our employees and contractors. We are very proud of the achieved result: an operational LSFO processing unit which operates safely and compliant, enabling us to meet new market demands.’