London — RN-Bunker, the marine arm of Russian oil company Rosneft, has started selling 0.1% sulfur low-viscosity marine fuel to the country's domestic river fleet.
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The first sales of the fuel took place at the ports of Yaisk, Rostov-on-Don and Azov, the company also said. The ports are all on the Sea of Azov.
The location of the Novokubyshevsky refinery in Samara Region allows the company to deliver the fuel via the Volga River, both north and south, and by rail to other regions in the European part of Russia, it said.
The company has also started production and sales of 0.5% sulfur marine fuel.
The Eurasian Economic Union, which comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, decided in 2019 to delay the implementation of the International Maritime Organization's 2020 sulfur cap.
The IMO's mandate saw the limit on sulfur in marine fuel emissions on the high seas fall to 0.5% on January 1, from 3.5%.
However, the EEU decided in December to extend the use of marine fuel with up to 1.5% sulfur content within its territory until the end of 2023.
The proposed delay would ostensibly affects Russia's river fleet more than any other segment in the EEU. However, traders said they expected any impact even on this restricted group to be minimal as the country's river barges use diesel rather than fuel oil.