NTPC, Tecnimont looking into green methanol production in India

India’s largest power generation company NTPC has partnered up with Tecnimont, a subsidiary of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont Group, to explore opportunities to develop a green methanol production facility.

Illustration; NTPC's power plant. Courtesy of NTPC
Illustration; NTPC’s power plant. Courtesy of NTPC

The companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an aim to jointly evaluate and explore the possibility to develop a commercial-scale green methanol production facility at NTPC project in India.

The green methanol project involves capturing carbon from NTPC power plants and converting it into green fuel for a wide range of applications, such as serving as a base material for the chemical industry, storing renewable electricity and as a transportation fuel.

Methanol is also considered an alternative fuel for maritime applications. Its benefits such as fungibility, availability, energy density and the ability to significantly reduce emissions immediately put it in the spotlight of maritime decarbonisation.

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During the year 2022, we saw an increase in research on methanol as well as ship orders that support its uptake.

Danish shipping giant Maersk is paving the way for methanol-fueled shipping with a total of 19 methanol-powered container carriers on order at Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The company has identified green methanol as the best fuel option for the company’s decarbonisation strategy since methanol engine technology is available and proven in operation, the fuel is relatively easy to handle and safety challenges are manageable.

Aside from newbuild orders, a recent report by Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping found that converting containership vessels to alternative fuels, such as methanol and ammonia, is technically and economically feasible.