IMO2020: Freepoint, Rigby Join Forces on 0.50%S VLSFO Supply

Monday October 7, 2019

US-based firms Freepoint Commodities LLC (Freepoint) and Rigby Refining, LLC (Rigby) have announced they will form a joint venture that will develop facilities around the world to supply IMO2020 grade marine fuel.

The JV's first project will be to design and build a 10,000 barrel per day fuel oil processing facility in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The process will use Rigby's in-house process of to remove sulfur from fuel oil and produce IMO 2020-compliant marine fuel, while Freepoint will provide the feedstock to the facility and market the facility's production.

The first unit under the JV is expected to commence operations in 2021.

"The new IMO 2020 regulations requiring less sulfur in marine fuel have created a global need for such facilities to ensure there is adequate compliant fuel available to the shipping industry," said David Messer, CEO of Freepoint.

With a wide variety of VLSFO recipes expected in the market come 2020, and concern over the resulting potential for quality and compatibility problems, Rigby CEO Michael Moore was particularly bullish on the quality of his company's product.

"Rigby's proprietary solution to create patented IMO 2020-compliant fuels is unique and will likely be a preferred fuel for shippers due to its superior properties in comparison to blends, distillate-based fuels and other low sulfur marine fuel options," he said.

"By combining Rigby's technological know-how with Freepoint's expertise in the commodities and finance markets, we aim to be a leader in providing low sulfur fuel to satisfy global demand."

Rigby discussed the results from trials of its desulfurization process in March of last year.

Freepoint, meanwhile, has been busy elsewhere in the IMO2020 bunker supply space, saying in August it has plans to supply VLSFO in Singapore from the fourth quarter of this year.