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Maersk partners with 6 companies to advance production of green methanol

A.P. Møller – Maersk announced on Thursday it entered into partnerships with six energy and fuel companies to source at least 730,000 metric tons of green methanol by the end of 2025.

The companies are CIMC Enric, European Energy, Green Technology Bank (GTB), Orsted, Proman and WasteFuel.

Read: Maersk invests in bio-methanol production company WasteFuel

Green methanol can be made from biomass gasification (bio-methanol) or renewable electricity combined with captured carbon dioxide (e-methanol). Supplies of green methanol are currently very low. Only 0.2% of methanol produced globally is green methanol, according to a 2021 International Renewable Energy Agency report. 

International shipping company Maersk is waiting on delivery of 12 ordered vessels that can run on green methanol. Before the ocean vessels are operational, the company is attempting to solve the problem of having green vessels without the green fuel to power them.

“The maritime industry faces a chicken-and-egg challenge, where the supply and demand of green fuels will have to evolve in parallel to fast ensure a sustainable development of zero-emission fuels,” Martin Neubert, deputy CEO and chief commercial officer at Orsted, said in a release.

The 730,000 metric tons of green methanol should more than satisfy the fuel demands of Maersk’s 12 green container vessels on order, Maersk said. The vessels are expected to save around 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The six partners will allow Maersk to access green methanol on three continents. CIMC Enric and GTB will give Maersk access to green methanol in China; European Energy and WasteFuel will make green methanol in South America; and Orsted, Proman and European Energy will make green methanol in North America.

“To transition towards decarbonization, we need a significant and timely acceleration in the production of green fuels. Green methanol is the only market-ready and scalable available solution today for shipping. Production must be increased through collaboration across the ecosystem and around the world. That is why these partnerships mark an important milestone to get the transition to green energy underway,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of fleet and strategic brands at Maersk, said in the release.

European Energy will produce e-methanol for Maersk’s first green methanol-powered vessel, which is expected to be on the water by 2023. Orsted has a target to produce 300,000 metric tons of e-methanol annually in the U.S. starting in 2025, which is one of the most ambitious projects in the overall 2025 time frame.

Read: A vision at sea: Maersk’s methanol-powered vessels taking shape

“Our partnership on [this] green methanol endeavor will not only support Maersk’s journey towards its net-zero goal, but also will jointly contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for the shipping industry,” Leo Yang, executive director and general manager of CIMC Enric, said in the release.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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