Copenhagen Airports, AP Moller-Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and offshore wind developer Ørsted have formed a partnership to develop an industrial-scale facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport
The project in the Copenhagen area of Denmark is the first of its kind and brings together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels with a vision to realise what could become one of the world’s largest electrolyser and sustainable fuel production facilities. The partners in the project believe it could drive maturation of the market for sustainable fuels while creating jobs and new value chains.
The hydrogen and ‘e-fuel’ production facility could be operational by 2023. When fully scaled-up, by 2030 it could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel for buses, trucks, vessels and aircraft per year.
Production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 GW, which would make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. This level of production would reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.
COWI and BCG will provide expertise to the project partners, which is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen in line with the city’s ambitious policies for decarbonisation. However, the partnership hopes the project can, over time, act as a catalyst for similar projects in other parts of Denmark and internationally.
If realised as envisaged, the project will be located in the Greater Copenhagen Area and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emissions buses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, renewable methanol for AP Moller-Maersk vessels and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS aircraft and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports. The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore windfarm at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.
“To become competitive with fossil fuels, production of sustainable fuels will need to be matured, built at industrial scale, and go through a cost-out journey similar to what has been seen over the past decade in other renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV,” the project partners said.
“This project is a way to combine the dual objectives of accelerating the green transformation and providing economic stimulus to the Danish economy after the Covid-19 crisis.
“Denmark is in a unique position to become a hub for the production of sustainable fuels, creating jobs and securing a leading position in establishing an entirely new industry, which will be key in driving decarbonisation towards net zero in 2050, not just in Denmark, but also globally.”
The vision of the partnership is to develop the project in three stages. The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10-MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel buses and trucks.
Stage two comprises a 250-MW 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.
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 1.3 GW and capture more sustainable CO2. The project has the potential to displace 5% of fossil fuels at Copenhagen Airport by 2027 and 30% by 2030.
Ørsted chief executive Henrik Poulsen said, “Decarbonising the road, maritime, and aviation sectors is key to bringing our economies around the world to net-zero emissions by 2050. Our vision to produce sustainable fuels in the Greater Copenhagen area will deliver the necessary industrial scaling to drive the needed cost-out towards making renewable fuels competitive with fossil fuels.
“With the right policy framework in place, this project could be a defining leap forward for the production of sustainable fuels in Denmark, which will further reinforce Denmark’s role as a global leader in technologies and business models for a sustainable future.”
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