As oil prices have fallen drastically since 2014, cement kilns and blast furnaces are increasingly using purer virgin fuels and, as such, reduce demand for the so called “dry oil” or waste oil collected from ships such as bilgewater, sludge and slops.
This “dry oil” undergoes a costly process of settling in tanks, dewatering, and - depending on the need – removal of pollutants. Port reception facilities face increasing storage costs and see their positive price for their recycled oil turn in a negative one, because of this high process cost and lower demand for “dry oil”. And oil recyclers recycling waste oil into marine fuel are in big trouble as the price for their recycled product is higher than the price paid for same quality virgin oil.
This drop in prices lead to the bankruptcy of North Refinery (Netherlands) and WOS Hautrage (Belgium) with Hydrodec Plc. (UK) reviewing its oil re-refining project. Moreover, the lubricants sector, involved in collecting lube oil from garages and other sources for recycling, copes with difficulties and asks for subsidies.
As, chairman of Euroshore, I plead that the DG Environment would accept “end of waste” criteria for refused fuels being re-processed to fuels. Extra outlet possibilities should be created, because of the drop in demand for our base oil and its substitution by other energy types, such as brown coal. Doing nothing in the short run will bring more companies in difficulty, which could lead to reduced reception capacities for ship generated waste.