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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will enforce a new 0.5% global sulphur cap on fuel content from 1 January 2020, lowering from the present 3.5% limit. At that time, China will have sufficient low sulphur fuel oil production capacity and adequate supplementary light gasoil supply to meet the shift in demand away from heavy fuel oil. The international bunker business may potentially shift its center to the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone.
The bonded fuel oil business and the building of an international maritime services hub enabled the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone to achieve a significant milestone. As of 2021, the Free Trade Zone has supplied 5.5 million tons of fuel oil, reaching a year-over-year growth of 16.9%, and ranking the 6th in the world . Based on AIS vessel tracking estimates, the bonded fuel oil in Zhoushan has the potential to reach 14.6 million tons of fuel oil.
ZP affiliate, Zhejiang Petroleum Fuel Oil Sales Co. Ltd. was one of the first enterprises to be awarded the qualification to trade bonded fuel oil. Going forward, ZPT will seek ways to cooperate with Zhejiang Petroleum Fuel Oil Sales Co., Ltd and develop the bonded fuel oil import business.
The rapid developments in integrated refining and petrochemical complex projects in China, e.g. Zhejiang Petrochemical and refineries in Shandong, offer promising opportunities for Chinese oil products exports such as PTA, methanol, etc.