Tuesday, November 24, 2015

From Cars on Chip Fat to Container Ships on Slops

Innovative Process Recycles Waste Marine Oil
Shipping News Feature
PORTUGAL – FRANCE – First we had cars running on chip fat and now an enterprising French company has produced its first batch of recycled marine fuel from waste marine oil residues at its refinery in the Port of Sinès, Portugal. The aptly named Ecoslops, headquartered in Paris, says it is the first company to develop technology capable of the process and the Sinès treatment unit has the capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes of recycled fuel every year.

In Q3 2015, 3,200 tonnes of slops were imported from Northern Europe, in conjunction with slops collected in the Port, mainly at the oil terminal and from global container shipping company MSC. 1,400 tonnes of fuel products have subsequently been produced for the marine market, comprising distillates (MDO) and heavy fuel oil (IFO) plus light bitumen for the roofing and isolation markets. The company says this development validates the concept with 98% of slops being recycled for commercial use.

Ecoslops collects marine hydrocarbon waste from waste collectors and ports, as well as directly from ship owners and operators. The hydrocarbons are then pre-treated by decantation and centrifugation before being processed into a vacuum distillation column and recycled into marine fuels and light bitumen. The water produced is decontaminated in a treatment plant before being returned to the natural environment.

Ecoslops is also continuing its work in developing its facilities in the Ivory Coast, as well as looking at other opportunities in the Mediterranean and the North of Europe. This follows the company’s ambition to bring on line three more facilities by 2017. Vincent Favier, CEO, Ecoslops commented:

“This is a landmark moment for Ecoslops, as we prove the commercial and sustainable viability of creating marine fuel products from slops. In the current climate, waste collectors are finding it increasingly difficult to sell unprocessed slops and many ports do not have sufficient collection or storage infrastructure. For ship owners and operators, it is highly cost-effective, efficient and sustainable to be able to take a waste product, for which the disposal is strictly regulated, and turn it into a reusable marine fuel.

“Our focus now is on accelerating production at the Port of Sinès by collecting more slops locally and through import, as well as further developing our global infrastructure to capitalise on the opportunities within the global slops market.”

Photo: The Port of Sinès refinery.