Quadrise chairman upbeat despite 'hugely disappointing' Saudi setback

UK firm presses on with plan to develop series of MSAR projects; posits that interest in scrubbers has 'intensified'.

Mike Kirk, Executive Chairman of Quadrise Fuels International plc. Image credit: Quadrise Fuels International

Updated on 27 Mar 2018 13:31 GMT

The Executive Chairman of Quadrise Fuels International, Mike Kirk, on Tuesday said it was "hugely disappointing" that all the agreements required to move forward with its production-to-combustion trial in Saudi Arabia had not been obtained.

As a result of the delays, the refinery firm involved in the process has warned that it may no longer be in a position to support the project if the certain agreement documents are not signed by April 1.

In terms of trying to find a viable solution to the problem, Kirk explained that the company would "continue to review parallel options to progress this project with an alternative refinery partner", but admitted that this was "unlikely to be deliverable" in the short term.

Kirk added that Quadrise was also looking at alternative projects to establish MSAR in the power market, including those that could potentially use the MSAR manufacturing facility on site.

"Our refinery partners have continued to be very supportive of Quadrise and we look forward to being able to discuss further potential trial and commercial projects with them in due course. We are, alongside this, continuing our existing business development activities to build a series of MSAR projects in both the power and marine markets," Kirk remarked.

As developer of a high-sulphur, low-cost alternative to heavy fuel oil that will need to be used in conjunction with scrubber technology in order to comply with IMO's 0.5% global sulphur cap in 2020, Quadrise posited in its latest financial summary that interest in scrubbers as a compliance option had "intensified" during the six-month period ended December 31, 2017. This is despite Maersk pulling out of its MSAR fuel trial last year, with the shipping giant deciding against the use of abatement technology as a strategy moving forwards.

"Given the widening price differentials between low[-] and high[-]sulphur fuels, we believe the economic case for MSAR will improve further moving forward to 2020 and beyond and Quadrise is increasing its engagement with shipping companies, engine and EGCS manufacturers to exploit this," Quadrise argued.

"The Company continues to explore selected opportunities with refinery and oil companies globally, linked to potential power and marine supply opportunities to take advantage of IMO 2020 price advantages for MSAR fuel," Quadrise added.