World’s 1st large-scale e-methanol project to fuel Maersk’s boxships

Technology firm Siemens Energy has secured an order from European Energy to deliver an electrolyzer plant for what is deemed as the world’s first large-scale commercial e-methanol project that will ultimately provide supplies for Maersk’s methanol-fueled fleet.

Image by Maersk

Denmark-based European Energy is developing the large-scale commercial e-methanol production facility with the hydrogen being provided by a 50 MW electrolyzer plant by Siemens Energy.

Under the contract, Siemens will design, supply and commission the electrolysis system consisting of three full arrays of its line of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis products.

Those include transformers, rectifiers, distributed control systems (DCS) and the equipment to produce demineralized water.

The owner of the project, European Energy, will be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction as well as the operation of the facility.

Courtesy of Siemens Energy

As disclosed, this will be built in Kassø, located west of Aabenraa in the South of Denmark, near the German border. Through the nearby 300 MW solar park of Kassø, developed by European Energy, the project will have access to the low-cost renewable electricity needed to produce cost-effective e-fuel.

Commenting on the order, Knud Erik Andersen, CEO of European Energy, said: “We are pleased to place this important order of what is believed to be the first large-scale commercial Power-to-X-project of its kind in the world.

“This is a crucial moment in the green transition as we move forward with the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors such as the shipping industry, and we trust that Siemens Energy’s … know-how of electrolyzers will become a strong foundation to expand our business of delivering sustainable fuels to the world.”

In their joint statement, the companies informed that end-users of the e-methanol will be the shipping company Maersk and the fuel retailer Circle K among others.

The start of commercial methanol production is planned for the second half of 2023.

The project secures the e-methanol supply for Maersk’s first e-methanol driven container vessel, and thus demarks the starting point into CO2-neutral shipping on a large-scale, the parties said.

As reported earlier by Offshore Energy, the Danish container shipping and logistics giant announced plans to add twelve 16,000 TEU methanol-powered containerships to its fleet.

The first order placed in August 2021 includes eight vessels with the first unit slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2024.

The second order of additional four methanol-powered boxships was revealed at the beginning of 2022. The quartet is planned for delivery by 30 May 2025.

According to Maersk, the next-generation vessels will be 350 metres long, 53.5 metres wide and will look significantly different from what has been seen before for any larger container vessels.

The eco-friendly newbuilds will be classed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and sail under the Danish flag.

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