Landmark commercial e-methanol plant to be built in Denmark

3D model of the facility in Denmark.

Danish company European Energy is building what is believed to be the world’s first large-scale commercial e-methanol plant.

The facility in Kassø, Denmark, is intended to progress the decarbonization of the global freight industry by producing 32,000 metric tonnes of carbon neutral hydrocarbon-based fuels per year.

European Energy is applying Power-to-X technology to convert renewable electricity from solar panels or wind turbines, among others, into other forms of easier-to-store energy, namely e-methanol.

The plant will be supplied with power from the adjacent 300 MW solar park owned by European Energy and the company says it “represents the first step in bringing this e-fuel to market at scale to support the maritime and road transportation industries as well as the chemical sector”.

European Energy solar park in Kassø.
Image: Robert Wengler.

Sulzer Chemtech is providing advanced separation technologies to enable the effective storage of renewable energy. It will deliver two distillation units with a customized design to European Energy’s facility.

These will play an essential role in the plant’s ability to produce e-methanol of extremely high purity for use in combustion engines and for use as a chemical feedstock, for example to produce plastic while requiring minimal energy inputs. 

Half of the total plant output, 16,000 metric tonnes per annum, will be delivered to Danish global shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk to fuel the company’s first containership capable of operating on green methanol.

The 172 m (564 ft) long vessel will be able to hold over 2000, 20ft-equivalent containers and will sail in northern Europe.

Emil Vikjær-Andresen, head of Power-to-X at European Energy, said: “The success of our operations depends on the ability to deliver high quality e-methanol, meeting demanding specifications, while minimizing the environmental impact of our activities.

“Only in this way can we effectively support the adoption of more sustainable fuels.”

Jacques Juvet, Head of Application and Process Technology for Process Plants at Sulzer Chemtech, added that the project “will have a major impact in driving the transition towards sustainable fuels”.

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Kelvin Ross is Editor-in-Chief of Enlit Europe and Power Engineering International. A journalist for more than 30 years, he has worked on regional, national and international newspapers, as well as trade magazines serving sectors including insurance, shipping, health and financial markets. He has covered the energy sector for more than 10 years. He helped establish Energy Live News in the UK before joining PEi and he has been ranked among the top 100 global influencers on Twitter for 'renewable energy' and 'smart grid' topics.

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