Siemens Energy has been awarded a contract by European Energy to supply an electrolyzer plant.

The Danish developer and operator of green energy projects is creating the world’s first commercial-scale e-Methanol manufacturing facility, with hydrogen supplied by a Siemens Energy 50 megawatt (MW) electrolyzer plant.

The facility will be built in Kass, Denmark, west of Aabenraa and close the German border. The project will have access to low-cost renewable electricity required to manufacture cost-effective e-Fuel via the neighboring 300 MW Kass solar park planned by European Energy.

Among the e-Methanol’s end users will be the shipping corporation Maersk and the fuel retailer Circle K. The initiative provides the supply of e-Methanol for Maersk’s first e-Methanol-powered container vessel, establishing the first step toward large-scale CO2-neutral shipping. Commercial methanol production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023.

Siemens Energy will design, supply, and commission the electrolysis system, which will include three full arrays of the company’s latest and most powerful PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolysis products, as well as transformers, rectifiers, a distributed control system (DCS), and demineralization equipment. European Energy is the project’s owner and will be responsible for the designing, procurement, and construction of the facility, as well as its operation.

Stefano Innocenzi, Senior Vice President of the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy, said: “Climate change requires urgent action. Together with our partner European Energy we are taking over a first mover’s role in decarbonizing the marine industry. With this project we will bring e-Methanol to market at scale. E-Methanol or derived e-Fuels are predestined for long-distance ship and road transportation as well as for aviation. The project will be proof of the successful commercialization and scaling of our PEM technology.”

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 outstanding know-how of electrolyzers will become a strong foundation to expand our business of delivering sustainable fuels to the world.”

Global shipping accounts for approximately 3,050 terawatt hours (TWh) of global final energy consumption. To put this in perspective, this is more than five times Germany’s total electricity use. And, because nearly all shipping is powered by fossil fuels, primarily bunker oil, the shipping sector generates approximately 1,000 million tons of CO2 per year, accounting for approximately 13% of global transportation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already committed the shipping industry to halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 (compared to 2008 levels) in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets. The measures include improved logistics approaches, increased efficiency, speed/power reductions, and – as the most effective path forward – the use of sustainable fuels for propulsion, namely mostly carbon-neutral electricity-based fuels (e-Fuels).

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