MSC Testing Efficiency, Environmental Performance of Alternative Fuels

MSC testing alternative fuels on container ships
In 2021 MSC will test the use Alternative fuels (file photo)

Published Jan 25, 2021 3:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

As part of the ongoing effort to find new, efficient and environmentally sensitive fuels, MSC Shipmanagement is working with Quadrise, a developer of emulsified synthetic heavy fuel oil. Under a new joint development agreement, they will scope out in 2021 the operational trials of the new fuel on a container ship.

Using existing technology, Quadrise has developed Multiphase Superfine Atomised Residue (MSAR), which is an emulsified synthetic heavy fuel oil for marine bunker and other applications of HFO. Through the application of chemistry, water is used instead of distillates is used to produce the fuel, which the company says is both low cost and has significant environmental benefits. Quadrise reports that it is a bunker fuel with 20 percent less CO2 than conventional HFO. Quadrise has also developed a new bioMSARTM biofuel.

According to the companies, the project will use Quadrise’s skills in emulsion fuel application and use in large diesel engines. MSC will provide technical expertise relating to naval architecture, machinery systems, fuels, exhaust gas cleaning systems, emissions, and technical ship management. 

"We believe that MSC's large modern fleet installed with electronic engines and, in some cases, exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) is well-positioned to realize the economic and environmental benefits of MSAR and bioMSARTM,” said Jason Miles, CEO of Quadrise. “We look forward to realizing the project and getting the trials underway in 2021."

In the first three months of the MSAR Operational Trial, they will define the scope of the project completing high-level scoping and feasibility activities. During the second quarter of 2021, they expect to complete the definition of the project as well as the project roadmap.

Phase 1 of the project involved testing with one of the large motors. The companies plan to test MSAR and possibly the bioMSARTM biofuel, in either a large MAN ME and/or a Wärtsilä /WinGD Flex 2-stroke engine. Working with the engine manufacturers they will seek a “Letter of No Objection” approval to proceed further with the fuel tests.

The ultimate goal is to conduct one or more trials aboard representative vessels in the second half of 2021. Assuming the successful completion of the trials and further agreements they hope to roll-out the use of the fuel on MSC’s global fleet.

Commenting on this agreement "MSC is looking forward to working with the Quadrise team under the JDA in 2021 to scope out the operational trials of MSAR on our container vessels,” said Prabhat Jha, Group MD & CEO of MSC Shipmanagement. “We are particularly interested in the potential environmental benefits of MSAR and bioMSARTM that, alongside the economic benefits, reflect our approach to operating a modern MSC fleet, and fit well with our overall future fuels strategy."