MSC to Trial Alternative Fuels

In the era of decarbonization and finding ways to become carbon neutral, MSC Shipmanagement has signed an operational trial with Quadrise Fuels International (QFI) and will trial, starting this year, emulsified synthetic heavy fuel oil on its ships.

More exactly, they will check out how the alternate fuel called MSAR, as well as another QFI biofuel called bioMSAR, works on MAN and Wartsila engines, before taking the trial further.

We believe that MSC’s large modern fleet installed with electronic engines and, in some cases, exhaust gas cleaning systems is well positioned to realise the economic and environmental benefits of MSAR and bioMSARTM and we look forward to realising the project and getting the trials underway in 2021.” said Jason Miles, CEO of QFI.

This is not MSC’s first biofuel incursion. Since December 2019, MSC has been using biofuels from another supplier with 30% blends for ships bunkering at Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam.

MSAR and bioMSAR

After perfecting its proprietary fuel for two decades, Quadrise seems to finally have reached a breakthrough. MSAR is a low viscosity oil-in-water emulsified synthetic HFO while bioMSAR combines conventional MSAR technology and fuel with renewable glycerol to produce an oil-in-water emulsified synthetic HFO with lower emissions, including 20-30% less CO2, which is similar to using LNG as QFI states.

Why Glycerol? Because it is generally obtained from plant and animal sources.  It is a renewable raw material that is a waste product in, for example, the production of bio-diesel. As a fuel, glycerol burns almost pollutant-free and is virtually CO2-neutral.  It also has excellent lubricity.  It is used today to power diesel engine generators that electrify the Formula-E racing championship and VW’s record-breaking ID R electric race car, with near-zero emissions.

Initial activities under the agreement will include project initiation, definition, high-level scoping, and feasibility activities of the overall trial. These activities are to be completed within 3 months and depending on the results of this stage, the agreement can be roll-out across MSC global fleet.

Last June, MSC started offering clients a new carbon neutral solution. Together with South Pole, a company headquartered in Switzerland like MSC, they created the MSC Carbon Neutral Programme, which supports projects that deliver measurable benefits aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Responsibly sourced biofuels could provide an alternative solution for the shipping sector to meet the 2030 International Maritime Organization (IMO) level of ambition for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction, as well as to make significant progress toward the 2050 levels of ambition.

MSC’s decision to use biofuel is complementary to the company’s broader strategic approach to sustainability. The company remains committed to implementing concrete plans to modernise its green fleet.