Quadrise Fuels International plc (LON:QFI) Chief Executive Officer Jason Miles and Chairman Mike Kirk caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the increasing interest in bioMSAR, accelerated testing with MSC, Morocco & Utah updates and the outlook for the company going forward.
Q1: Now, Mike, if I can just start with you. You’ve announced earlier that you’re seeing increasing interest in bioMSAR, where’s the interest coming from and what’s driving it?
A1: I think there are are a couple of things that are happening here actually that are, we think, really positive for Quadrise Fuels International.
I think first of all, we’re seeing, we think, a much more rapid energy transition, this is not going to be business as usual so people have a real interest in actually driving down CO2 emissions. That’s really helpful for us alongside the work that we already deliver for customers in terms of driving down both sort of knocks and particulate emissions as well.
We’ve seen this as sort of across the piece, but in particular, we’re seeing the driving coming from our pipelines in the shipping sector. Again, I think it’s one of those where we’re seeing a confluence of events there, but pretty much across the piece, but some really helpful tailwinds in the shipping sector, in terms of really bringing forward our testing and development work on bioMSAR.
Q2: Now, just turning to you, Jason. I see that the testing with the Mediterranean Shipping Company has significantly accelerated, can you just tell us more about that?
A2: The acceleration is really specific to bioMSAR, with MSC, they’re strong proponents of use of biofuel in the future so they’ve been utilising already quite large quantities of biofuel in the marine fuel pool.
So, what we’re looking to do with with MSC, and what MSC are strong opponents of, is actually accelerating the plans to bring testing of bioMSAR forward onto the vessels, which is obviously a strong sign in the right direction for bioMSAR.
We’ve got testing that we’ve just very recently completed in Finland on a Wartsila 4-stroke engine, where we’re looking to get the report through from testing there, next month. That will then lead to discussions with the OEM’s concerned, with Wartsila and MAN Diesel, on the use of a BioMSAR, also in the engines, where we expect the performance of bioMSAR to be very similar to MSAR.
So, what we see is that we can accelerate the commercialisation of bioMSAR much more rapidly than we first thought and that will obviously be helpful for getting the MSC trial underway sooner rather than later.
Q3: It looks like things are ramping up in Morocco and Utah too?
A3: Yes, absolutely.
So, in Morocco, we’ve had somebody onsite this week already so we’re basically preparing to get the trial underway. We have all the equipment that’s being fabricated and is ready to be shipped, we have fuel being manufactured in Norway during the coming weeks to be shipped down. So, early part of Q3, we, we expect to complete the industrial trial and then leading on to that, then we have another trial, a commercial trial, planned for later this year. The equipment that we’re sending down to Morocco can actually be utilised as well for the second trial so that fast tracks the subsequent phase, and then looking to then conclude the commercial supply agreement for the fuel which you will see will hopefully be one of our first contracts.
Having said that, with Utah, we’ve also got samples that are ready to be shipped, being shipped to QRF, once received, we will be able to turn around testing of MSRA within about three weeks, we’re also planning to include bioMSAR in that testing as well.
So, again, by the early part of Q3, we’ll have completed all the testing we need for the Utah project with Greenfield and then, obviously engaging in discussions in terms of license agreements and if needed, then the commercial trial that we had planned as well, subject to their plants.
We also see other opportunities in the Utah area as well which we’re obviously progressing in parallel.
Q4: Mike, obviously a lot of progress has been made and is being made. How do you see the outlook now for Quadrise Fuels International?
A4: I think what we’ve tried to do in terms of providing the update today is actually just reinforce what we said if we look back sort of two or three months ago, of the successful fundraise.
We’ve now got the resources to progress to sustainable cashflow from our operations, we expect to have just under £7 million of cash as at 30th of June this year and, as Jason has outlined, we’re really excited by the pool that we’re seeing for the market on bioMSAR.
So, that has meant that we’ve had to rejig some of our thoughts in terms of our investment during the course of this year, but what I would want our current and potential shareholders to be absolutely clear about is we are being really careful with our cash. We want to ensure it is used in the best way possible to achieve our mutual aims of delivering sustainable value to shareholders. What we are doing is ensuring that that gives us the scope to actually accelerate some of the areas that Jason has outlined in terms of bioMSAR testing and development alongside progressing our active trials in Morocco with Utah in Utah, and an MSC.
We’re really excited about what 2021 and 2022 has got for us and what we’d be looking to do is actually ensure that we’re in a position to provide regular updates as and when we go through that. It’s not something we were able to do as clearly as we hoped during the first two or three months after the fundraise but we are very mindful that getting information out there into the market is helpful for us. It provides that reassurance to our shareholders, and we’ll be doing our best because we know we’ve got some very active programmes that is going to give us the ability to do that on a regular basis.
We look forward to doing that through yourselves and through other channels as well.