Meyer Werft Dives Into Power-to-Liquid Fuels With New Startup

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Lab test rig at Meyer Neptun's facility (Meyer Neptun)

Published Oct 29, 2021 4:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

German cruise ship builder Meyer Werft is diving into next-generation fuel with the launch of a new R&D startup. Its newly-founded Meyer Neptun Engineering plans to work with Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT Rostock) on new methods to make power-to-liquid fuels out of CO2 and green electricity. 

"For us, the cooperation with LIKAT is an important step towards climate-neutral shipping with power-to-liquid fuels,“ says Manfred Müller-Fahrenholz, Managing Director of Meyer Neptun. "We are thus further committing ourselves to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and want to jointly strengthen the maritime economy here locally."

Together with Meyer Werft's shipyards, Meyer Neptun will test the fuels generated in the research project under real conditions on board. The goal is to make climate-neutral and sustainable fuels ready for the market for different types of ships. The firm is actively recruiting engineers and scientists who have the qualifications to further its goals. 

Power-to-Liquid fuels, also known as electrofuels, essentially convert renewable energy into liquid fuels using CO2 and green hydrogen. The products have a relatively high energy density when compared with other renewables, and they can be produced for use in ships, cars or aircraft.

Meyer Werft has already made a name for itself in the alternative-fuel space by building the world's first LNG-powered cruise ships, beginning with Carnival Corporation's AIDAnova. 

PTL fuels - and particularly PTL methanol - have gained prominence as an alternative energy source for shipping. Maersk Group has ordered eight giant boxships designed to run on renewable methanol, marking the first significant investment in a zero-emission shipping solution for deep sea service. In September, Maersk announced that it is investing in a new PTL startup based in California, Prometheus Fuels. Prometheus' modular equipment can produce green alcohols like methanol, along with more complex hydrocarbon products.