Ørsted has initiated construction on FlagshipONE, which is touted as the largest e-methanol project in Europe. The plant, scheduled for completion in 2025, will produce 50,000 tonnes annually and will help support the large-scale use of methanol in the shipping industry. The facility’s e-methanol will be made using renewable electricity and biogenic carbon dioxide from Hörneborgsverket, with excess heat being redirected back into the plant’s district heating supply. The project, which is based in northern Sweden, has been supported by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency with $14m in funding during the planning phase.
DNV has predicted that methanol will overtake LNG as a leading alternative fuel option in the shipping industry due in part to its early availability and ease of handling, compared to the toxicity of ammonia. This has contributed to the rapid growth in the order book for methanol-powered ships, which currently stands at around 89 vessels to be delivered by 2028. The introduction of the EU’s regulations on maritime fuel emissions is expected to further sanction the use of methanol by the shipping industry.
FlagshipONE was developed by e-fuels company Liquid Wind, which has partnerships with businesses such as Alfa Laval, Carbon Clean, Siemens Energy, Topsoe, and Uniper. The site for FlagshipONE was chosen due to the abundance of wind energy in the region and the proximity of Sweden’s forest industry. Liquid Wind’s strategic approach is to plan sites like FlagshipONE, for which a partner company then takes on the project to completion. Ørsted originally acquired 45% of FlagshipONE, but purchased the remaining 55% of the project from Liquid Wind.
FlagshipONE is Ørsted’s first e-methanol project and is part of the firm’s Green Fuel pipeline. The company is also developing the Green Fuels for Denmark project and Project Star in the US, which is anticipated to use 1.2 GW of renewable energy sources from new solar PV farms and onshore wind while producing 300,000 tonnes per year of e-methanol. Ørsted also has an off-take agreement with shipping firm Maersk to become part of the network it is building to support its methanol-powered container ships.
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