General FAQs

What is MSAR® and how does it differ from traditional marine fuels?
MSAR® has some unique properties, but in general the properties are similar to HFO. It is made using proprietary technology to blend the residual oil from oil refining processes with water and small amounts of chemicals according to a bespoke formulation. In contrast with traditional refineries, the residuals are mixed with light oil products (that could otherwise be sold at a premium to crude oil) to create HFO. MSAR® systems are modular; hence MSAR blending can take place alongside HFO production if required.

MSAR® is a fluid liquid at room temperature which makes it easier to handle and reduces the heating costs for storing, transportation and use in comparison to HFO. It also means existing fuel oil infrastructure can be used.

In addition, the residual oil droplets are pre-atomised within the emulsion and are much smaller than droplets formed from atomising HFO; this means that MSAR® burns very efficiently, potentially leaving no particulate carbon in the exhaust and reducing harmful emissions.
Can you explain Quadrise’s business model?
Quadrise has developed a new technology solution that produces MSAR® fuel, which can be used as an alternative to heavy fuel oil (HFO). HFO is one of the world’s largest fuel markets with over 450m tonnes used per annum.

MSAR® is, with the appropriate residual stream, cheaper to produce than HFO, with lower emissions, providing advantages both to the producer and to the consumer of the fuel. Consequently, MSAR® has the potential to disrupt all sectors currently using HFO with initial projects focussing on the marine and power markets.

Quadrise will derive commercial revenues from technology license fees, sale of chemicals, engineering and technical support services, and associated sales or leasing of equipment used for the manufacture of MSAR®.
Can you tell us more about the marine fuel industry and the role of Quadrise?
The marine industry consumes over 200 million tonnes of HFO each year. Fuelling for the shipping industry is centred around a small number of global bunkering hubs. These bunkering hubs are also closely associated with regional refining centres. Our strategy is to focus on local refiners in these centres to expand the availability of marine MSAR® for shipping operators.

With respect to MSAR® application in the marine sector we have been working jointly with Maersk and diesel engine OEMs to optimise MSAR® fuel and systems for marine use, and obtain LONO and Class Society approvals where required. We are using the information from the success of the trials to date to progress our plans for commercialising marine MSAR® with various shipping operators that are planning to install exhaust gas cleaning systems to comply with IMO 2020 regulations.

In parallel, we are working in the Middle East and the Far East, pursuing substantial opportunities in oil-fired power generation and industrial applications.

This approach provides our partners producing MSAR® with both an expanding customer base for marine MSAR® and other complementary end-user markets. This both reduces risks for producers and enhances the growth potential – we think that this is a potent strategy for delivering growth for Quadrise.
How long does it take for a refinery to install MSAR® equipment and is it expensive?
There is not one specific answer to this as each project will differ, however the MSAR® solution is modular and scalable. Each MMU (MSAR® Manufacturing Unit) module has a capacity of up to 350,000t per annum of MSAR®, together with the ancillary equipment and storage. This can be installed at a total cost of less than $10m, together with refinery tie-ins, within a period of typically 6-12 months. As the systems are modular, it is possible to add additional MMUs relatively easily, enabling production capacity to be increased to meet rising demand – again reducing the risk and upfront capex for refiners.
Are there any specific risks to the fuel?
As MSAR® fuel contains water, it should not be exposed to conditions that might freeze or boil the water. Other than this, providing Quadrise fuel handling guidelines are followed there are no specific risks to the fuel.
What was the Marine Operational Trial testing for?
The Operational Trial followed on from stationary diesel engine trials and successful “Proof of Concept” testing on 2 operational Maersk vessels installed with MAN ME and Wärtsilä RT-Flex engines respectively.

The Operational Trial had three primary aims:

1. To show that MSAR® can be used on-board a standard vessel (with some modifications to the fuel handling systems) with the existing crew over an extended period.

2. To ensure that operating procedures and settings for operation of the electronically injected 2-stroke diesel engine in a variety of conditions can be finalised.

3. To enable the engine manufacturer – Wärtsilä – to provide a letter of no objection (LONO) which confirms to engine users that they can be fuelled by MSAR® without any implications to marine insurance, classification society approvals, or engine manufacturers’ warranties.

The company believes that the trial met most of these primary aims as borne out by the issuance of the Interim LONO.
If Maersk opt to use compliant fuel to meet the IMO 2020 regulations, what are the implications for their use of MSAR?
The announcement on 4 May 2017, confirmed that Maersk had taken a decision to use compliant fuel (0.50 %m/m Sulphur) to meet the IMO 2020 sulphur regulations. As a result, they have indicated that they will not be using HFO in conjunction with new Exhaust Gas Gas cleaning Cleaning Systems (EGCS), or therefore adopt MSAR® on a commercial basis for compliance at this time.

Maersk has however confirmed that the operational trial was successful.

Maersk’s position has the effect of placing an onus on the refining industry to make significant capital expenditure to enable refiners to produce sufficient quantities of compliant fuel for the marine sector. For each average size semi-complex refinery this is likely to require a billion dollar investment in upgrading equipment that takes around 5 years to design and install.

There are likely to be a range of strategies taken by operators and the downstream industry, and in the short-term unless they have already made investment decisions, each operator/industry is currently considering their options.

The limited availability of compliant fuel at a reasonable price, both in terms of volume and location, has resulted in a wide variety of commentators expressing the view that non-compliant > 0.50 %m/m Sulphur HFO plus EGCS will be the most cost effective solution with typically expected payback in under 2 years. The additional economic and environmental advantages of MSAR® over HFO provide, we believe, an even greater incentive to adopt this route for compliance.