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A R400 million investment in Astron Energy’s Milnerton refinery has enabled the company (formerly Chevron South Africa) to produce IMO 2020-compliant 0.50% bunker fuel.

As previously reported, last May Astron Energy flagged up its plans to produce very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) at its 100,000 barrels a day refinery, which is South Africa’s third largest crude oil production facility. It produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, bitumen gas and other speciality products.

Commenting on the new low sulphur bunker supply at two of South Africa’s key ports, Astron Energy’s CEO, Jonathan Molapo, said: ‘This is a major transition for two important global industries – shipping and refining.

‘Making sure Cape Town had VLSFO that met the new regulations available by 1 January was vital for the company and the port. We have worked extremely hard to implement the substantial and complex changes that were required in our refining processes.

Molapo hailed IMO 2020 as a major step forward for the marine environment and said he was proud that Astron Energy has ensured that Cape Town was compliant on schedule. ‘The port is critical for the local and national export economy and we knew how important it was to get this right,’ he said

Astron Energy, a Glencore Group company, supplies petroleum products in South Africa and Botswana through a network of more than 800 Caltex-branded service stations. Astron Energy will continue to manage the Caltex brand for a period of up to six years under licence from Chevron USA.

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