While biofuels present a technically simple decarbonisation solution for shipping, they are not without their challenges.

About the Green Seas First Movers report

This story is part of a TradeWinds Business Focus exploring shipping companies that are early adopters across a range of green shipping technologies and fuels.

Click here to read the full report.

Biofuels are not only expensive, but they are also in limited supply, and Quadrise Fuels chief executive Jason Miles told the Green Seas podcast that shipping will find it difficult to compete with industries that have access to existing subsidies for those volumes.

So Quadrise, a London-listed technology company that has developed a way to make synthetic oil-in-water fuel oil equivalent that comes at a lower cost, has taken that technology to biofuels.

It uses 40% renewable glycerine to make synthetic biofuel bioMSAR, which the company says leads to a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional fuels.

After Quadrise carried out testing on engines, it is now gearing up to test it on a vessel.

In July 2022, the fuel company signed a framework agreement with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s largest container ship operator, to put bioMSAR to work on a vessel.

That followed an agreement earlier in the year to do the same with MSAR, Quadrise’s synthetic heavy fuel oil.

Switzerland-based MSC, which declined to be interviewed for this report, has signed up to buy 25,000 tonnes of each of the fuels for use in the trials.

“The biofuel that we produce is behaving quite similarly to our conventional synthetic fuel … which is comforting, with all the testing we’ve done so far,” Miles said.

The bioMSAR trial is expected to take place this year on the 4,500-teu MSC Leandra (built 2007).