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01 May 2020 | 16:32

Quadrise Fuels extends cash runway as oil prices languish

(Sharecast News) - Quadrise Fuels International said on Friday that, following the adoption of "proactive measures" in early March to protect its employees and business in the face of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, it had continued to make progress in its business development and research activities. The AIM-traded firm said at the time of its interim results on 30 March that initiatives to reduce costs had enabled it to extend its period of operation on current funds to the end of March 2021.

On Friday, it said that a total of more than ?0.5m in cost savings and reduced financial commitments had since been achieved, which would enable it to continue to operate through to the middle of the second quarter of 2021, based on existing funds.

That provided the company with a "significant" cash runway before new funding would be required.

It said savings had been made through a variety of actions, including reducing the overall costs of the board, consultant cost reductions, revisions to the office lease, and furloughing certain members of staff.

Quadrise said it was also seeking access to other UK government support schemes where appropriate.

The company's equipment and 'MSAR' fuel for the first phase pilot plant trial in Morocco was now on site, and the joint project team was still in regular contact to progress the second phase activities for the trials on the client's larger commercial units.

When it can gain safe access, Quadrise said it would be able to start the pilot trial, and further progress the front-end engineering and design study.

The expected successful outcome of the pilot trial, and submission of the study, would release payment for the second phase in advance of the commercial trial agreements.

It said it had also received "extensive" information from its client in South America, adding that the techno-economic studies were being finalised, prior to being shared with Freepoint Commodities and the client.

In the marine sector, discussions with the two scrubber-equipped major shipping companies were continuing, alongside the firm's continued investigations into the physical bunker supply business with stakeholders.

Quadrise said that in Saudi Arabia, it was continuing to follow-up via Al Khafrah following the recent meeting in Riyadh at the head office of the power company.

The next stage would be a meeting with the management team from the western province, where the trial would be held.

While its preference for the key meeting would be face-to-face, Qaudrise said it was reviewing other alternatives with Al Khafrah to maintain momentum during Ramadan.

The company was still in regular contact with its other clients and relevant agents, but at the current stage it said there was nothing material to report on those activities.

Quadrise's London office had been closed since mid-March, with all staff said to be working "efficiently" from home.

Using collaborative working systems adopted and used regularly since 2019, the transition had worked smoothly for both internal meetings and meetings with clients and other stakeholders.

The firm's research and operational support facility in Essex was still operating as staff lived locally, commuted by car or foot, and could socially distance safely while working there.

Emulsion production and testing at the Essex site was still supporting business development, patent applications and general MSAR research development and innovation initiatives.

"We are pleased that we have been able to deliver a material extension to our cash runway, which will now take us to the middle of the second quarter of 2021," said chairman Mike Kirk.

"This provides us the opportunity to progress our business development opportunities in earnest for over one-year - an increase of around five months to that forecasted at the beginning of 2020."

Kirk said that, despite the current restrictions, the company was continuing its activities to good effect.

"Although the oil market is significantly disrupted at this time, we do not believe our clients are basing their medium to long-term plans on the current pricing environment and so we remain confident of the opportunities to progress our projects to commercialisation, which will underpin any future funding needed in the period up to the second quarter of 2021."

At 1610 BST, shares in Quadrise Fuels International were down 3.27% at 1.48p.
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