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Technology & innovation

As a Group we have ambitions to transform both the way the industry operates and the industry itself.

We have both a leading role to play in the energy transition and we seek to bring cutting-edge technology into the industry to advance the way participants communicate, track, log, process and finance commodity transactions.

We believe that the way for the industry to revolutionize and be disrupted is to work together to bring about real success and change.

 

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Mercuria is always looking for opportunities to design, advance and deploy the latest technology with the dual  objective of optimizing our commodity supply chains for the benefit of our global clients, partners, and wider communities. today, as well as to help advance the energy transition for tomorrow. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of digitalization, not just for the energy sector, but for business as a whole, and we are keen to help transform the way our industry operates.

The transition to an energy system that is more secure, affordable and sustainable is going to take more than just a single business changing, and it’s going to take more than just using more sustainable packaging or more efficient logistics. There needs to be a vast, holistic change to the way the energy industry works. We see the potential and necessity for introducing systems and technology to ensure resilient and robust commodity supply chains, and to help businesses to reduce emissions and lessen their impact on the environment. 

Mercuria is proud to be at the forefront of this transformation. We regularly participate in public debates and forums to find innovative ways to modernize the supply chain and look to lead in the development and deployment of these. For example, we have taken a leading position in three financial-technology (FinTech) ventures that will introduce blockchain technology to improve the speed, efficiency and security by which commodities are traded around the globe.  Some of the initiatives that we have deployed, invested in, or actively participated in are highlighted below.

Rise-X

Mercuria has invested in Rise-X, a company that has built an Ecosystem Orchestration Platform. EOPs are an emerging category of technology platforms that help businesses reimagine how they operate, by deploying digital transformation from the ground up.

Rise-X’s platform uses a no-code approach that users of any technical ability to build, simplify and automate workflows to cut out unnecessary effort and steps and improve efficiency across their entire business. And since it is built on the blockchain, every element of each process is recorded and visible, improving traceability and transparency.

Rise-X’s differentiator is the focus on multi-party business ecosystems that allows multiple stakeholders to participate to complete a task via a common information environment; from multiple employees within the same organization working on the same process, to multiple organizations collaborating on the same project. 

Building a tailored EOP using Rise-X  eliminates the financial and operational risk often associated with large-scale ecosystem development or business transformation programs. It helps businesses save time and money, and allows them to stay focused on customers, relationships, and business growth.

Our subsidiary, Minerva Bunkering, was one of the first customers of Rise-X, using their EOP to create the Advanced Delivery Platform. This is an innovative solution to digitally refuel ships that ensures efficient delivery whilst helping to reduce the risks of fraud.

ADP

Mercuria has been at the forefront of the development of the Advanced Delivery Platform (ADP), an innovative solution comprised of integrated hardware and software that provides a completely transparent and efficient bunker delivery service, reducing cost and risk for Minerva’s bunkering customers.

As digitization continues to drive consolidation in the bunker industry, the ADP will help navigate the secular trends and energy transition.

Customers using the ADP benefit from visibility into all details of their bunkering operations including quality of fuel delivered, operational timelines, and quantity received as per mass flow meter profiles – all in real-time and viewed from anywhere via the customer portal. Additional benefits include:

  • Integration with client invoicing and business intelligence software
  • Inquiry through fixture over the platform
  • Custom client reporting
  • Digital reporting for port and customs in real-time: operations, volume delivered, location, customers, fuel grade, duration of operation, etc.
  • Facilitates port dues invoicing and eliminates paper documents
  • Matches each ton of duty-free imports with sales

ADP hardware

Internally designed hardware to transmit certifiably passive real-time mass flow and other advanced meter data to barge-broadcasted wireless communications network

ADP onboard

Digitized and pre-populated onboard documentation application results in estimated time savings of 2-4 hours per operation

ADP online

Customer portal with pre-delivery, delivery, and post-delivery data viewable real-time from anywhere

Onboard documentation is conducted entirely digitally on both supplying and receiving vessels via the networked application, resulting in hours of saved time, and reduced human error from manual entries. Back-end integration with customer software systems is supported via API to enable streamlined invoicing and business intelligence. Furthermore, the platform’s audit functionality provides complete transparency into every barrel of fuel loaded onto and discharged from the supply vessel utilized in each customer delivery.

Ultimately, the ADP technology means that all parties have access to transactions or services as they take place in real time and the records, stored using blockchain, are immutable helping to avoid contract disputes or human errors.

ADP allows customers to bunker better, smarter and greener.

Eleox

Consistent with our commitment to progress the markets in which we trade, Mercuria is a founding investor in Eleox.  Eleox is a joint venture formed to solve operational inefficiencies in US natural gas post-trade processes.

Eleox is working to re-imagine commodity post-trade processing through the creation of an enterprise-grade application based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) to replace many existing, siloed post-trade systems with a unified, full lifecycle platform.

This secure, real-time digital approach is being created to manage transactions from post-trade through settlements, replacing paper-based contracts and manual reconciliation processes, and will initially focus on enhancing the post-trade process for North American physical natural gas. The enhanced settlement processing platform will result in; Increased transparency and accountability while maintaining data security using distributed ledger technology, a single source of truth throughout the trade life cycle and fewer data errors, fewer mismatches, and less manual reconciliation, minimizing delays in transaction settlements.

CurlHG

Mercuria continues to collaborate with innovative fintech firm CurlHg and has rolled out its Optical Character Recognition and Machine Learning technology into Mercuria’s main ETRM platform.  This technology reads and digitalizes the main shipping documents and therefore eliminates key entry of the commodity’s physical characteristics into our systems, resulting in more efficient and accurate operating environment. CurlHg’s solutions are being adopted across the industry through its collaboration with Vakt.

Mercuria believes that the most effective way to move our markets forward is through collaboration with our peers and other market participants, rather than several organizations working towards the same goal in silos.  Examples of our commitment to industry partnerships was our co-founding of VAKT and Komgo; these organizations seek to digitalize the trade and commodities finance process through blockchain based open platforms. Since successfully driving the inception of these initiatives, Mercuria is now a value-add shareholder for VAKT and Komgo and helping to drive adoption through committing volumes and fully integrating with both platforms as an active user and industry advocate. We are acutely aware that there is always more that can be done to enable the transition to a more transparent and sustainable commodity supply chain. As such, we continually look for relevant organization to co-invest and co-ideate with us on the newest technological deployments.

VAKT

Mercuria is a founding member of VAKT which was incorporated in 2018 to create a single source of truth for commodity transactions, including terminals and inspectors along the supply chain of oil trades, and in order to create a single digital record for each trade and a secured mechanism to authenticate bilateral transactions. Beside increasing trade volumes and adoption in 2021, VAKT also extended its offering with trade pairing and confirmation facility (vSure) as  logistics facility (vLogistics).

The use of logistics features shows that physical operators are getting more comfortable with the VAKT process for their physical deliveries. Additionally, a number of terminals are receiving nominations from VAKT customers.

VAKT expands also its collaboration with Price Rating Agencies (PRAs) and working on a seamless integration with customer’s Commodity Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) platforms.

Komgo

Komgo provides four solutions to the market covering a broad scope of activities including trade finance, receivable discounting, documentation validation and KYC. Mercuria has been an initial investor and early user of a number of these products to assist in the adoption to the broader market. Komgo has grown in a few short years to be the leading trade finance solution in the commodities markets and is used by over 25 large trade finance banks and 100 corporates.

Mercuria was also the principal user of its document authentication system, Trakk.  This reduces the ability for invoices or other documents to be amended once issued, thereby reducing fraud.  The Komgo business operates on a global scale with offices in US, London, Geneva and Singapore with some of the largest banks, corporates and commodity traders all active users.

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