• Møller-Maersk and founding family launch green methanol start-up

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

AP Møller-Maersk and members of its founding family have set up a new company, C2X, to produce green methanol with the intention of increasing the availability of the fuel that will help it decarbonise its shipping business.

Possible locations for green methanol production include sites in Egypt, Spain, the US, India, and Australia, and it seems multiple sites may be chosen. Brian Davis, who has 30 years working for Shell on his CV, has become the CEO of C2X, and claims that the business case for producing green methanol is “so compelling…what it really needs is people to step up and make it.” He has also said that with the scale of the projects that the company wants to execute by 2030 running into billions of euros in spending, C2X will need to work with external partners.

An interesting dimension to the production of green methanol is that, produced from hydrogen, it requires a source of CO2, and this is likely to be captured from industrial processes, rather than sourced “biologically”. Although this has, according to the Financial Times, attracted some criticism, carbon capture does look likely to be operating at larger and larger volumes in the coming years and the carbon dioxide is likely to be available.

It would, however, mean that captured carbon dioxide from industrial sources would still be released to the atmosphere through a circuitous route, rather than stored long-term, that is, if it is not captured again post-combustion onboard the ships.

C2X’s production is not expected to meet all of Møller-Maersk’s expected demand for the fuel by 2030, pointing to an opportunity for other providers. Last November, the head of decarbonisation at Møller-Maersk criticised the oil and gas industry for not producing more affordable green fuel.