Neste 'higher viscosity' 0.1% fuel set to be launched in 2017

Finnish supplier says its 'RMG-type product' will have a higher viscosity than products currently available.

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Updated on 14 Jun 2016 12:13 GMT

Product development of Finland-based Neste Oil's low-sulphur marine fuels continues apace.

The bunker supplier has been carrying out research and development which is designed to help shipping firms be more cost-efficient in the era of low-sulphur marine fuels. Neste anticipates launching a new product at the end of 2017 which will have a significantly higher viscosity than the currently available products.

The new 'RMG-type product' will be compatible with all marine fuels previously developed by Neste, the company says.

"The new solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit to be commissioned at our Porvoo Refinery enables the launch of a new type of a product." commented Varpu Markkanen, Business Development Manager responsible for the development of oil products at Neste. "As a result, we are able to produce a heavier product with a sulphur content of under 0.1 percent."

Low emissions and high energy efficiency

Neste points out that the advantage of low-sulphur marine fuels is that they burn much more cleanly than regular heavy fuel oil. Thanks to their flammability, lower need for heating and cleaner burning, they increase the service life of engines, reduce operating costs and extend maintenance intervals. Transition to low-sulphur marine fuels also requires no significant investment.

AS Tallink Grupp's ships are currently supplied low-sulphur marine fuels by Neste. The ferry business, which operates in Finnish ports and bunkers fuel in Helsinki and Turku, reports a positive experience with the supplier.

"Neste's low-sulphur marine fuel has improved the energy efficiency of our engines by an average of three percent compared with heavy fuel oil in addition to the environmentally important feature of low sulphur content. We truly appreciate the high quality and steady performing product and the reliability of Neste's fuel supplies," commented Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik, Head of Ship Management of AS Tallink Grupp.

Neste currently offers two low-sulphur fuels (Neste MDO DMB and Neste RMB), the sulphur content of which is less than 0.1 percent. The products meet the requirements set out in the EU Sulphur Directive for ships operating in the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel.

Neste distributes its low-sulphur marine fuels from their terminals in Naantali and Kokkola. Fuel can be trucked to all Finnish ports, and ships can be bunkered ex-pipe at the Porvoo and Naantali refinery harbours. The company has also time-chartered the M/T Lotus for bunkering in Helsinki.