Air pollutants discharged through our businesses include sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and soot/dust emitted from boilers and furnaces as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from crude oil or petroleum product storage tanks and tanker truck loading facilities. Thus, our refineries and complexes carry out operational management to ensure compliance with emission standards under laws and regulations as well as with emission limits prescribed by regional pollution prevention agreements.
As the International Maritime Organization tightened SOx (sulfur oxide) emission regulations starting from January 2020, efforts to lower sulfur content in high-sulfur marine fuels to reduce environmental impact has become more vigorous worldwide.
Idemitsu also takes part in this effort. In order to reduce the excess HSC (high sulfur heavy oil class C) in the refining process and increase the production of LSC (low sulfur heavy oil class C), of which is the demand is expected to increase in the future, we remodeled our heavy oil direct desulfurization (RH) equipment at Chiba Plant to improve its the efficiency and started the operation in May 2020.
This will reduce the production of HSC by 600,000 KL per year and increase the annual production of LSC by 500,000 KL. In the future, in order to cope with LSC surplus supply, we will improve the heavy oil cracking capacity (RFCC) in the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) equipment and aim to further strengthen our competitiveness.