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Quadrise plans to move MSAR production unit from Cepsa refinery

Relocation would mark the final chapter in the Cepsa-Maersk-Quadrise partnership, signed three years ago.



Quadrise's MSAR plant at Cepsa's San Roque refinery in Spain. Image credit: Quadrise


Updated on 24 Sep 2018 12:40 GMT

Quadrise Fuels International plc, the emerging supplier of MSAR emulsion technology and fuel, said on Monday that it is looking to relocate its MSAR manufacturing unit (MMU) - currently installed at Cepsa's Gibraltar-San Roque refinery in Cadiz.

The news comes as Cepsa plans to carry out a major refinery upgrade up until 2019, where the Spanish firm has already confirmed that it will be investing EUR 200m in a project that also includes the development and testing of low-sulphur fuels for the marine market.

Quadrise explained that it is working with Cepsa to ensure that it will be able to move its equipment to another location "in a timely manner".

Ideally, Quadrise would prefer to relocate to another 'active' project in 2019. However, if this is not possible - and another location is not secured - Quadrise says it would move the MMU and associated equipment to the manufacturer's facility in Denmark, to enable any modifications to be made to the unit prior to deployment to a new MSAR project.

Three years after Cepsa-Maersk-Quadrise agreement

The latest development comes three years after the signing of an agreement between Cepsa, Maersk and Quadrise (in September 2015) to trial the supply of Quadrise's MSAR fuel to Maersk ships following the installation of its MMU at the San Roque site.

Ultimately, Quadrise's plan was to move from trials to full commercial production and the sale of MSAR fuel to vessels transiting the Strait of Gibraltar.

Production of MSAR fuel at Cepsa's San Roque refinery reached 6,000 barrels per day within nine months of sign-off, and the plant moved to a two-shift production schedule in January 2017 - operating the MMU on a 24-hour basis to supply larger batches.

However, the tri-party cooperation was dealt an irreversible blow last year when Maersk decided to pull out of the project after notifying Cepsa that it intended to let the operational trial agreement expire once the MSAR fuel on board its test vessel had been consumed.

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

The plan to relocate the MMU unit away from San Roque would mark the final chapter in the Cepsa-Maersk-Quadrise joint cooperation that was agreed in 2015.

In an interesting turn of events, today's announcement also comes one month after Maersk's CEO, Soren Skou, stated that the box carrier did not see retrofitting ships with LNG propulsion as a feasible solution, so it "may invest in a few scrubbers to understand them better" after all.






Related Links:

Quadrise has 'high degree of confidence' about securing equity funding
Quadrise reports GBP 3.3m annual loss
Quadrise appoints Stockdale Securities as joint corporate broker
'Significant momentum' in scrubber orders improves economics for MSAR: Quadrise
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