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First Large E-Methanol Project Moves Forward with Ørsted Investment

e-methanol production plant proposed for Sweden
Efforts are progressing to develop the first, large e-methanol plant in Sweden to supply the maritime industry (Orsted)

Published Jan 12, 2022 8:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts to develop what could become the world’s first large-scale sustainable e-methanol project are moving forward as the maritime industry looks for sources of alternative fuel. Danish energy company Ørsted, looking to build its leadership position within green fuels and renewable hydrogen, will invest in FlagshipONE, Liquid Wind’s late-stage development project which could be commissioned by as early as 2024.

FlagshipONE will have an electrolyzer capacity of around 70 MW and is expected to produce 50,000 tons of e-methanol per year based on renewable hydrogen and biogenic CO2. The electrolysis producing the hydrogen will be powered by onshore wind, and the biogenic CO2 will be captured from the combined heat and power plant Hörneborgsverket in Örnsköldsvik in Sweden, where FlagshipONE will also be located.

“By partnering with Liquid Wind on FlagshipONE, we’re entering one of the most promising and exciting projects to supply e-methanol at scale and drive the decarbonization of maritime transport and other uses of e-methanol,” said Anders Nordstrøm, Head of Ørsted’s hydrogen and Power-to-X activities. “With the right framework and societal support, FlagshipONE can become one of the world’s first large-scale e-methanol facilities and an important addition to Ørsted’s growing and diverse portfolio of hydrogen and Power-to-X projects.”

The race is on among a number of players each seeking to develop the alternative fuels that the maritime sector is searching for to meet the emerging regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Methanol has been viewed as one of the near-term emerging solutions which was bolstered by Maersk’s orders becoming the first large shipping company to place orders for new methanol-fueled vessels. Maersk has expressed concerns that the infrastructure and supply for methanol are not yet sufficiently developed that it may not be able to operate the new vessels due in 2024 on methanol, but it also hopes that its construction of the vessels will help to drive the development of the supply and bunkering operations.

Ørsted is involved in several projects that aim at delivering sustainable fuels. FlagshipONE adds to Ørsted’s growing hydrogen and Power-to-X project pipeline, which includes several projects aimed at decarbonizing maritime transport. Under the terms of the agreement with Liquid Wind, Ørsted will acquire a 45 percent ownership share in the e-methanol project. The companies expect to complete a final investment decision as soon as 2022 which could lead to commissioning in 2024.

“Our green fuel will become a dominant fuel for true decarbonization in the hard to abate shipping sectors, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 90 percent,” forecasts Claes Fredriksson, CEO and Founder of Liquid Wind. FlagshipONE is the first facility, but Liquid Wind’s ambition is to establish a series of facilities across Sweden to decarbonize the maritime sector.