By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 28 -- Canadian refiners are introducing technologies and changing manufacturing processes to reduce gasoline sulfur content to 30 ppm before 2005, reported the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI).
CPPI member refiners—representing 80% of Canada's downstream petroleum industry—plan to cut the sulfur content of their gasoline by about 90% before 2005. Currently, Canadian gasoline contains an average sulfur content of 280 ppm.
"I am pleased to tell you that all CPPI members are squarely on the road to reducing sulfur levels in gasoline," CPPI Pres. Alain Perez said. "The plans the companies have submitted represent a massive undertaking. . .involving a total expenditure of $1.8 billion."
These large-scale projects are creating construction jobs at refineries across Canada. Engineering and construction has already started on many projects.
"The main air quality benefit will accrue when low-sulfur gasoline is combined with the new, mandated, Tier 2 engine technologies beginning in the 2004 model year," Perez said, referring to new vehicle emission control systems.
Canadian's federal low-sulfur gasoline regulations require an interim average of 150 ppm of sulfur for gasoline and a final target of 30 ppm by 2005.
The Canadian General Standards Board has set a current maximum allowable sulfur concentration of 1,000 ppm. Average sulfur levels in Canada have been about one third of the CGSB limit in recent years (about 280 ppm in 2001) and are similar to those of conventional gasoline in the US.
Canada is moving to regulate sulfur in gasoline in a two-step process: an interim, 150 ppm average for July 1, 2002-Dec. 31, 2004, followed by a 30 ppm average starting Jan. 1, 2005.
Most Canadian refiners are meeting the interim level by accelerating their engineering and construction plans to achieve the 30 ppm goal as early as possible and by temporarily altering their crude supplies when possible to run lower-sulfur crudes.
Gasoline sold in Canada over the next 30 months will contain varying levels of sulfur, depending upon the region and manufacturer.
Canada will average about 260 ppm sulfur in gasoline this summer, and most refiners will reach the 30 ppm goal in the second half of next year—more than 1 year ahead of the deadline, CPPI predicted.
The US has targeted 30 ppm in 2004, but its approach involves credit systems that will delay full market penetration of 30 ppm gasoline until at least 2006.
CPPI members are involved in the refining, distribution, and marketing of petroleum products for transportation, home, and industrial uses. Collectively, CPPI member companies operate 17 refineries and supply 10,000 branded stations with fuel.