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February 1979

Mabanaft GmbH Leaves Hamburg and Moves to Neuss

In response to the ban on importing light heating oil containing more than 0.3% sulfur, Europe's largest independent oil trading company has moved the Mabanaft GmbH headquarters to Neuss. The new law limiting the sulfur content of gas oil to 0.3% came into force at the beginning of the year,. Mabanaft had requested a waiver for a transition period, but it was denied by Hamburg’s Senator. Unlike the petroleum companies, which can influence the output of their own refineries abroad, and thus the content of their imports, in its sourcing of middle distillates, Mabanaft is largely dependent on foreign refineries, which have not yet fully made the switch.

The independent importers have each applied to their state governments for an exceptional permit for the year in progress for imported heating oil containing the erstwhile levels of sulfur. The Federal States Committee of the Home Secretaries approved the applications – but not Hamburg’s Senator. Despite being advised that this is an unreasonable distortion of competition, he denies Mabanaft’s waiver request. Mabanaft decides to act, and obtains the waiver at its new headquarters.