Emulsion bunker producer Quadrise Fuels International plc (QFI) on Wednesday (15 January) announced the promotions of key staffs who are integral to its recent business development initiatives in 2019 which culminated in the recently announced heavy fuel oil (HFO) MSAR® pilot trials in Morocco.
“At the recent AGM we provided shareholders with an update which demonstrated the success of our strategy to broaden and deepen our business development pipeline,” said QFI Executive Chairman Mike Kirk.
“Along with the secured funding now in place we have a firm foundation for growth and the Board took the view that this was the right time to further develop the senior management team through the promotion of Jason to CEO and Mark to COO.”
Effective 1 February 2020, Jason Miles (Chief Operating Officer since 2014) is appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer.
Mark Whittle (currently Head of Projects) succeeds Jason as Chief Operating Officer and becomes a director of the Company.
Mike Kirk continues as the Company’s Chairman.
“I have worked closely with Jason since joining Quadrise and during the last two years have also worked increasingly closely with Mark, both of whom have been integral to the recent business development initiatives which culminated in the recently announced trial in Morocco,” he added.
QFI was able to secure funding of GBP 4.5 million during Q3 2019 which will enable QFI to continue its business development activities through to the end of 2020 on the basis of current planned expenditure.
Below are the key business development updates on MSAR® in 2019:
- Morocco– The in-country representative has proven to be very effective for Quadrise in Morocco – having been instrumental in securing the agreement with the major chemicals business to undertake an initial pilot trial at their manufacturing facility which was announced earlier today. Pending the positive outcome of this first stagetool would then seek to progress to a larger-scale study and trials as a precursor to commercial roll-out.
- Freepoint Commodities –Remains an important partner for QFI and the management remain in close contact on opportunities in Central and South America. QFI expects itself will be more valuable in terms of assisting in the commercialisation of projects, rather than identifying new ones. Freepoint also introduced QFI to Aleph Commodities who we are working with in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
- Redliner – Have demonstrated a good understanding of MSAR®technology and has arranged meetings with key parties within Mexico, most recently in November 2019. This is a significant opportunity for QFI, although the management cannot overlook the challenges to progress new projects rapidly in the region on a fully funded basis, even for MSAR® projects that deliver material economic gains in the short-term. The Company will follow up during 2019 and into 2020.
- European Oil Major– This work has not progressed materially to date – further progress will, QFI believe, be dependent on the development of major power or industrial customers for the substantial MSAR® volumes that would be generated at the refinery. QFI will continue to progress this market development work – which will also be the key to enabling the samples to be provided to enable full testing – given the operational challenges that there have been with the sample lines.
- European Refiner– The initial stage of testing has been completed and visits carried out at both the client site and at QRF. The next stage is currently underway – with the client reviewing the economics of MSAR® compared with other IMO 2020 options, and if this proves positive, QFI expects to be developing a plan for a site trial during H1 2020.
- Maersk/Marine – Discussions have continued in relation to the Royalty Agreement alongside Maersk’s revised approach to IMO 2020 compliance that includes the installation of scrubbers on a significant number of their vessels. However, like most operators in the sector, meaningful engagement is not likely until the operational challenges of IMO 2020 readiness is concluded during Q1 2020.
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia– Good progress has been made with Al Khafrah as our new local partner and we expect high level engagement with one of the major stakeholders shortly which will help to define the route to enabling project delivery to commence at the earliest possible time during 2020. This work includes the opportunity to consider MSAR® manufacture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at lower cost.
- Kuwait – The market in Kuwait is undergoing extensive change, with a new grass-roots refinery nearing completion and a major upgrading being completed which will effectively combine two smaller, existing refineries. Recent meetings have confirmed that there is an opportunity at the new refinery and we will undertake initial feasibility work to present to the client team in Kuwait once technical information is received.
- Bitumina – QFI have continued to review opportunities to access the residue sources and terminals available to Bitumina – which will ultimately depend on accessing suitable consumers in the power, marine or industrial markets.
- Asia –QFI is continuing to review opportunities in Japan through JGC and the management is reviewing a refinery refuelling opportunity. API Poly GCL undertook a study in China and concluded the market in the power and industrial sectors was constrained by local coal and gas, though opportunities in the marine market remain under review – subject to the local operators’ (COSCO, etc.) approach to scrubbers in 2020. As a result of challenging economics versus gas from LNG in combined-cycle plants and a change in its approach to the use of its existing assets, we have reached mutual decision with YTL Power Seraya to not renew the current MoU.
- Merlin –QFI is continuing to review various heavy oil opportunities that would benefit from the use of MSAR®, though none are at the stage of progressing to active projects at this stage.
- Nouryon – a new three-year agreement was signed on 8 October 2019 and recent discussions confirm that there are further opportunities for closer collaboration between Quadrise and Nouryon on project development.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this Agreement with this major industrial group in Morocco, which is a world leader in the sectors in which it operates and is a material consumer of fuel oil,” he commented on the agreement.
“We are looking forward to working with the Client’s team in Morocco to develop and deliver the MSAR® pilot trial and feasibility studies and, ultimately to demonstrate the wider potential for MSAR® use in the industrial sector, in addition to the power and marine markets.”
“We are confident that we will successfully demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of MSAR® and, therefore, be able to progress through to commercial supply of MSAR® to the Client in due course,” he concluded.
Photo credit: Quadrise
Published: 17 January, 2020