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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Maersk pulls out of MSAR fuel trial

Idea of using MSAR alongside scrubbers scrapped as Maersk plumps for compliant fuel from 2020.

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Updated on 08 May 2017 13:25 GMT

Quadrise Fuels International plc (QFI), the emerging supplier of MSAR emulsion technology and fuel, has confirmed that Maersk Line has formally notified supply partner Cepsa that it intends to let the operational trial agreement between the parties expire once the MSAR fuel currently on board its test vessel has been consumed.

Maersk is said to have formally informed Cepsa that it intends to only use compliant fuel (less than 0.5 percent sulphur) from 2020 and that the use of MSAR alongside exhaust gas scrubbers will not be considered as an option for Maersk going forward.

In a statement, Quadrise explained that the marine MSAR supplied to date has been higher than 0.5% sulphur, but that an option for the future would be for the firm to work with refiners or suppliers to produce a Marine MSAR with a sulphur content lower than the 0.5 percent limit.

'This would be dependent on availability of low-sulphur residual streams and further work is being carried out to assess the viability of this solution," Quadrise noted.

Remaining positive, Quadrise said that the MSAR operational trial with Maersk had been "successful" - as reaffirmed by the shipping giant - and that a positive interim inspection and 'letter of no objection' (LONO) by Wartsila "should" confirm this.

Quadrise added that it was continuing to work with Maersk to progress the release of the interim inspection report and an interim LONO for MSAR use and to clarify Maersk's previously confirmed intention to work collaboratively with QFI to progress the commercialisation of MSAR to the wider global marine industry.

On the issue of industry demand for exhaust gas scrubber systems with non-compliant fuel, Quadrise said: "QFI continues to believe that the industry will ultimately move to the use of scrubbers and high sulphur fuel as the most economic compliance option and that Marine MSAR will enable operators to obtain additional economic and environmental advantages over the use of heavy fuel oil."

Quadrise added that it would now be focusing its efforts on other operators, "though this will have a longer lead-time than the originally envisioned plans with Maersk".

Mike Kirk, Executive Chairman, said: "Whilst Maersk's decision is disappointing, we are working hard to ensure that we can gain the benefit from the positive results of the trial to date. We are actively engaged with Maersk to progress the interim inspection report and interim LONO.

"The underlying opportunity remains substantial and many in the marine fuel and refining industries see the use of high sulphur fuel and scrubbers as the most economic option for compliance with the 2020 IMO sulphur regulations.

"It is also important to note that this decision by Maersk is enabling both QFI and Cepsa to further progress plans for the use of the spare MSAR production capacity for new customers in the marine and power markets."

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