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Maersk Partners for Development of E-Methanol Production

e-methanol prodcution for Maersk pilot project container feeder ship
(file photo)

Published Aug 19, 2021 7:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

A new facility will be built in Denmark to produce carbon natural e-methanol which will be supplied for Maersk as part of its efforts to develop the alternative fuel in a pilot project with its first dual-fuel methanol-powered vessel. A.P. Moller – Maersk will partner with REintegrate, a subsidiary of the Danish renewable energy company European Energy, working closely on the development of the facility.

“This type of partnership could become a blueprint for how to scale green fuel production through collaboration with partners across the industry ecosystem, and it will provide us with valuable experiences as we are progressing on our journey to decarbonize our customers’ supply chains,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller - Maersk. “Sourcing the fuels of the future is a significant challenge, and we need to be able to scale production in time. This agreement with European Energy/REintegrate brings us on track to deliver on our ambition to have the world’s first container vessel operated on carbon-neutral methanol on the water by 2023.”

REintegrate has been pursuing the production of green e-methanol in its test laboratory in Aalborg.  Plans call for the new facility to produce the approximately 10,000 tons of e-methanol that Maersk’s first vessel will require annually while in service. The methanol facility will use renewable energy and biogenic CO2 to produce e-methanol. The fuel production is expected to start in 2023. 

“We’re proud to be a part of the first large-scale e-methanol production in Denmark,” said Knud Erik Andersen, CEO, European Energy. “While renewable energy is becoming more and more common in the energy mix of electricity consumption, this is one of the first steps in heavy transportation towards using 100 percent renewable energy.” 

Earlier this year, Maersk announced that it would begin to explore methanol through the operation of a pilot vessel, a feeder operated by a Maersk subsidiary, Sealand Europe, on a Baltic shipping route. The 2,100 TEU feeder ship was ordered from Hyundai Mipo Dockyards in South Korea and is expected to enter service in mid-2023.

The energy needed for the power-to-methanol production will be provided by a solar farm located in southern Denmark. The companies said that had not yet decided where the power-to-methanol facility will be located. The new facility will be its third e-methanol facility developed by European Energy. They are also constructing an e-methanol facility in northern Denmark that is expected to start production in 2022.