Case Studies

Heat & Power case study

MSAR® is commercially and operationally proven in both steam boilers and diesel engines. It can be supplied directly from candidate refineries and delivered to a power plant using conventional infrastructure designed for heavy fuel oil.

Steam Boilers

Over 60 million tonnes of oil-in-water (OIW) emulsion fuel, branded Orimulsion®, was manufactured from 8° API Orinoco bitumen in Venezuela, and was subsequently fired worldwide in base-load boilers of varying sizes (50MWth to 770MWe). MSAR® is an improved version of Orimulsion® and the latest generation OIW emulsion, with a key difference being the technology can now be deployed in oil refineries and is applicable to refinery residue streams, as well as extra-heavy crudes. Key members of the Quadrise team worked in the original Orimulsion® business.

In 2008, a commercial demonstration of MSAR® as boiler fuel was successfully completed. MSAR® was produced at ORLEN Lietuva’s 200,000 bpd refinery in Lithuania and combusted at the 1,800MWe Elektrenai power plant owned by Lietuvos Elektrinė (LE), a previous Orimulsion® customer.

The commercial demonstration involved:

Schematic of MSAR commercial demonstration
Schematic of MSAR® commercial demonstration
  • Manufacture of >22,000 tonnes of MSAR® at the refinery, from Urals crude-based visbreaker residues, confirming the economic benefits of producing MSAR® versus fuel oil.
  • A 20 t/h MSAR® Manufacturing Unit, which operated on a continuous basis, using a plot of less than 250m2 was installed in under 6 months.
  • MSAR® was exported to the power plant by rail (~300km), using the refinery HFO rail loading system alongside regular HFO (or "Mazut") loadings.
ORLEN Lietuva refinery
ORLEN Lietuva refinery (200,000 bpd)


"Results of emulsified fuel test are excellent"... "The MSAR® commercial demonstration has confirmed to us that the technology offers a commercially viable alternative to fuel oil production, and has a suitable fit with future plans for our refinery."

General Director – Orlen Lietuva Refinery
  • At the powerplant the same discharge system used for HFO offloading was deployed for MSAR® (without the need for steam heating due to MSAR®’s low viscosity).
  • MSAR® was fired on the 2 x 150MWe Unit 7. The boilers were opposed wall-fired, each with six burners, supplying 950 t/h of 240 bar steam (540°C reheat) to a single LMZ turbine. 
  • The trial confirmed 600MWe base-load power & Alstom APC operational viability.
  • Successful trial results were independently verified by European Bank (EBRD) consultants.

MSAR® firing proved extremely successful, achieving flame stability at both low and high load operations. LE undertook a visual inspection partway through the firing programme and concluded that the levels of fouling were acceptable and within expectations. Overall, MSAR® fuel performance was deemed by LE to be similar to, or better than, Orimulsion®.

Elektrenai power plant
Elektrenai power plant


"Use of QFI’s MSAR® emulsion fuel at our Elektrenai plant has demonstrated the fuel is comparable with Venezuelan Orimulsion® and is suitable for long-term operation in those of our units installed with our new air pollution control equipment. From 2009 onwards MSAR® could offer us a competitively priced Lithuanian sourced fuel as an economic alternative to our current supplies."

General Director – Lietuvos Elektrine

Diesel Engines

In conjunction with Wärtsilä, more than 10,000 test hours were accumulated using similar Orimulsion® fuel in V32 and V46 engines, prior to the commencement of commercial operation at the IFC (World Bank) financed 150MW Planta Arizona in Guatemala:

  • Around 150,000 running hours were completed burning Orimulsion® in 10 x 18V46 engines.
  • The plant was equipped with, and operated, ESP/FGD to meet World Bank Standards.

The plant is currently using HFO intermittently, due to the halt in lower-cost Orimulsion® supply (a political decision made by the Venezuelan government which had nothing to do with the effectiveness of the fuel).

Planta Arizona in Guatemala
Planta Arizona in Guatemala was run on Orimulsion® commercially over three years (150,000 cumulative running hours)

MSAR® Boiler Case Study

Example below using Mitsui Futures Prices for 2020 (as of February 2019)

Conversion to MSAR® for a 400MWe boiler $2.5m
Project margin share for boiler $30m/y = $11/MWh
Payback time 1 month

Assumptions: 400MWe (Net) boiler, 75% engine load, 37.5% efficiency

As shown in the table, MSAR® CAPEX would be paid back in a matter of weeks and the fuel savings could be used to subsidise the cost of FGD if required.

Pathway to achieving MSAR® savings:


As well as benefitting from a significantly lower cost fuel, power plants benefit from MSAR®’s numerous environmental benefits.

For 2-stroke diesel engine experience with MSAR® please see the marine case study.