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03.02.2006

Befesa Desulfuración begins to receive liquid sulfur from Total E&P France

Last January, Befesa Desulfuración began to receive liquid sulfur from France under the contract signed with the company Total. The 3-year contract, signed on July 15, 2005, contemplates the truck-delivery of 25,000 tons per year of liquid sulfur. This contract replaces the original one signed back in 1998, under which Total supplied sulfur in its solid state to Befesa Desulfuración.

Both parties believe it necessary to modify the state in which the sulfur is supplied in order to reduce possible environmental impacts derived from the handling of solid sulfur, and to enhance process energy efficiency.

The liquid sulfur is unloaded directly into the storage tank that feeds the sulfur combustion tanks in the sulfuric acid production process. In this way, the handling of the solid product is avoided, as is the fusion and subsequent filtration of the sulfur.

The reception of liquid sulfur commenced back in 2003 with that from Petrogal. At present, the quantity is expected to increase greatly once the Petronor refinery completes the start-up tests on its liquid sulfur loading facility.

Over the next few months, supplies in liquid form from the Repsol Group are expected to commence and, to be precise, some 20,000 tons from the Repsol-Petronor facility in Somorrostro.

The plant's annual consumption is 107,000 tons, of which some 47,000 tons are expected to be received in liquid state. This would represent 44% of the total tonnage to enter these facilities.