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Scottish Project to Produce Green Methanol for Shipping Industry

methanol production in Scotland from renewable energy and captured CO2
The methanol plant would use the exisiting oil terminal and local CO2 captured from industry (GEC photo)

Published Aug 17, 2021 4:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Plans are underway for the development of an industrial-scale renewable power to methanol production facility to be located in northern Scotland as part of an emerging industrial low carbon cluster in the Cromarty Firth region. Global Energy Group, owners of the Nigg Oil Terminal near Invergordon, will work with Proman, which would become the owner, operator, and off-taker of the green methanol production facility.

The companies noted the growing interest in green methanol, produced from recycled carbon dioxide and hydrogen with renewable electricity as a renewable, liquid, product that can be used as a transportation fuel or as a feedstock in the chemical industry. They believe that Scotland combines the requirements of low-cost renewable energy and can utilize local sources of captured CO2 to produce green methanol.

“Green methanol presents a significant opportunity to bridge the gap from fossil-based to renewable fuels as we move to a lower carbon future and as such the production of and market for ‘green’ methanol from sustainable sources such as waste, bio-mass or renewable energy is growing and highly scalable,“ said David Cassidy, CEO of Proman. “As a global leader in methanol production, we are actively investing and pursuing green methanol projects to further develop methanol’s potential as a clean fuel for the future. 

The development of an industrial-scale renewable power to methanol production facility with captured carbon dioxide to be provided from local industrial sources will be known as the Cromarty Clean Fuels Project. The team is now assessing the commercial, technical and financial viability of a renewable power to methanol production and export facility with the ability to store onshore at Nigg and load methanol to be exported on bulk carrier vessels using the repurposed Nigg Jetty. The feasibility study is investigating how project feasibility changes with scale, to determine the optimal scale for the project.

“This plant will have the capability of harnessing excess power to produce green methanol, which can then be used as an automotive or shipping fuel or as a chemical building block in thousands of everyday products,“ said Tim Cornelius, CEO of Global Energy Group. “Green methanol can be made from many plentiful sources and with the efforts being made to capture North Sea carbon dioxide, we hope to become an important customer and consumer of projects such as the Acorn Project to produce clean fuels for the wider maritime transport sector.”

The Cromarty Clean Fuels Project is subject to the successful completion of the ongoing financial and technical feasibility studies, and further development and financing of the project.