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A.P. Moller – Maersk joins Danish consortium to produce renewable fuels at scale

27 May 2020

A.P. Moller – Maersk has joined a Danish consortium as a founding member to to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport in the Copenhagen area.

The partnership with Copenhagen Airports, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted aims to build one of the world’s largest electrolyser and sustainable fuel production facilities by 2030.

If realised as envisaged, the project will supply renewable methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk vessels.

Renewable hydrogen for zero-emission busses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS airplanes and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports will also be produced.

According to Maersk, sustainable fuels to date come at a higher cost than fossil-based fuels.

To become competitive with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels will need to be matured, built at industrial scale, and go through a cost-out journey.

For this to happen, governments and industry must come together to create a framework that incentivises private investments in large-scale sustainable fuel production. 

“Decarbonising the transport sector is a significant and complex task that requires collaborative contributions from every company, organisation, and country,” said Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“This project provides a first step in the massive transformation to produce and distribute sustainable energy. In Denmark, we have an opportunity now to accelerate the green transformation and take lead in powering the future with sustainable energy and I am pleased that we can contribute with concrete actions.

“We need many such projects both in Denmark and around the globe to achieve our ambition in Maersk of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”

The project will be carried out in three stages:

  1. The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel busses and trucks. 
  2. Stage two comprises a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered. 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. 
  3. 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 1.3GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels to be used in busses, trucks, maritime vessels and airplanes. The project has the potential to displace 5% of fossil fuels at Copenhagen Airport by 2027 and 30% by 2030.

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.


Photo credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk
Published: 27 May, 2020

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