MSC presses ahead with glycerine-based biofuel trials

Cyprus-based MSC Shipmanagement a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has signed a framework agreement with London-listed alternative-fuels company Quadrise Fuels International to trial its emulsion fuel and glycerine-based marine biofuel.

The deal will see MSC Shipmanagement carry out proof-of-concept tests and operational trials using Quadrise’s bioMSAR and MSAR fuels on one or more container vessels, with the final aim of commercialising the supply of these fuels to MSC’s global fleet.

The Swiss-based carrier is already exploring the environmental benefits of Quadrise’s higher emission-cutting version of fuel, picking up from containership rival Maersk, who opted out of the project back in 2017 to comply with IMO’s 2020 sulphur limit.

MSAR (multiphase superfine atomised residue) technology utilises emulsion technology to blend the heavy, viscous, low-value residual oil streams with water and small amounts of additives to produce an oil-in-water emulsion fuel that Quadrise claims can be utilised in the same way as heavy fuel oil (HFO).

Meanwhile, bioMSAR is an emulsified synthetic biofuel blend of heavy residual oils and glycerine with small amounts of specialist chemicals and water. According to Quadrise, adding 40% renewable glycerine to make bioMSAR results in over 25% fewer CO2 emissions.

The proof-of-concept tests will be conducted on a vessel now owned by MSC that was previously used for prior MSAR demonstrations on a 2-stroke engine and commence by the end of 2022, subject to the ship being available. Each trial will require 1,000 metric tons of fuel to confirm engine performance on the vessel.

A successful proof-of-concept will be followed by operational trials to provide commercial operating experience with a view to obtaining letters of no objection from the engine manufacturer. Approximately 25,000 metric tons of fuel and about 4,000 hours of operation will be required for each of the trials, with fuel to be produced by Quadrise and purchased by MSC.

“MSC has one of the youngest fleets among the world’s leading shipping lines, and we seek to continually improve energy efficiency by collaborating with suppliers such as Quadrise to promote the wider adoption of low and zero-carbon fuels.  We each have an important role to play to accelerate the decarbonisation of the shipping and logistics industry and we look forward to progressing commercial testing of bioMSAR™ and MSAR® technology on our fleet together with Quadrise,” stated Prabhat Jha, Group managing director and CEO of MSC Shipmanagement.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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