Photo: Ørsted

Danish heavyweights pitch offshore wind-to-sustainable fuels project

  • Technology

Denmark’s Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS, and Ørsted have formed a partnership to develop a hydrogen and e-fuel production facility powered by offshore wind.

The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, the developers said.

The project is divided into three stages. The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10 MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel buses and trucks.

Stage two comprises a 250 MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered.

Stage three, which could be operational by 2030 when the offshore wind potential at Bornholm has been fully developed, would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3 GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels to be used in buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and airplanes.

COWI and BCG act as knowledge partners for the project, and the project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen. The partnership hopes that the project can, over time, act as a catalyst for similar projects in other parts of Denmark and internationally.

If realised as envisaged, the project will be located in the Greater Copenhagen Area and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission buses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, renewable methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk vessels, and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS airplanes, and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports.

This facility would combine the production of renewable hydrogen with sustainable carbon capture from point-sources in the Greater Copenhagen area to produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel (e-kerosene) for the aviation sector.

The partnership will now move forward and engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of using sustainable fuels at scale in the transport sector in Denmark, and to seek public co-funding to conduct a full feasibility study of the project.

If the feasibility study confirms the viability of the project vision, a final investment decision for the first stage of the project could likely be taken as soon as 2021.

Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted, said: “Decarbonising the road, maritime, and aviation sectors is key to bringing our economies around the world to net-zero emissions by 2050. Our vision to produce sustainable fuels in the Greater Copenhagen area will deliver the necessary industrial scaling to drive the needed cost-out towards making renewable fuels competitive with fossil fuels. With the right policy framework in place, this project could be a defining leap forward for the production of sustainable fuels in Denmark, which will further reinforce Denmark’s role as a global leader in technologies and business models for a sustainable future.”

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