Jamaican state-owned oil refiner, Petrojam, plans to complete the installation of facilities to convert heavy fuel oil (HFO) to asphalt by the second quarter of fiscal year 2023-24.
Energy Minister Daryl Vaz made the announcement last week disclosed that monthly asphalt production is expected to increase to 19,000 barrrels, up from 4,000 barrels.
The project aims to reduce the excess heavy fuel oil produced by installing facilities to use heavy fuel oil from storage to produce asphalt for export and local consumption.
According to the Minister, “this project is necessary as there has been a fallout in the demand for high sulfur fuel oil, especially since the International Marine [Maritime] Organization’s 2020 sulfur limit implementation, and the low sulfur crudes currently being processed which cannot produce enough asphalt.”
Vaz also told lawmakers that Petrojam won a US$1.5 million contract to supply 11,000-20,000 barrels of asphalt to pave the extended runway and widened tarmac at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Regarding the closure of its former parent company, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica in 2020, Vaz said his ministry is winding down operations of the remaining subsidiary in Belize.