Ten private and public sector partners have launched a project that will use renewable electricity from offshore wind to produce renewable or ‘green’ methanol
The North-C-Methanol project aims to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 140,000 tonnes and generate 44,000 tonnes of green methanol that can be used as feedstock for the chemicals and other industries, as well as fuel for ships and trains.
North-C-Methanol is the first large-scale demonstration in the North-CCU-Hub programme, which has the long-term aim of realising an overall annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 1M tonnes.
North-C-Methanol entails the construction of two large-scale demonstration plants and supporting infrastructure on the Rodenhuize peninsula in North Sea Port. The first facility, a 65-MW electrolyser, is being erected on a site owned by Engie.
Here, water will be converted into green hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from offshore wind.
Engie director of thermal activity Europe Cedric Osterrieth said, “We already have a direct, high-voltage grid connection with renewable energy generated in the North Sea. We can use this energy to produce hydrogen, which in turn can serve as a renewable raw material.”
The second plant, a Proman methanol plant on the Rodenhuize peninsula, will use the green hydrogen produced at the Engie site to convert CO2 emitted by local industrial players such as ArcelorMittal, Alco Bio Fuel and Yara, into green methanol.
In turn, chemicals and renewable fuel companies in the region such as Cargill can use the methanol as a green raw material and/or as a fuel for vessels and trains.
All of the by-products of the methanol production process, such as oxygen, heat, and water, will also be recycled.
Flemish deputy prime minister Hilde Cevits said the project “shows why Flanders can become a leader in sustainable innovation. With our ports and their industry, we are ideally positioned to invest in a circular and sustainable industry. It provides sustainable growth and new jobs and with this type of project we make a leap forward to a resilient Flanders. Moreover, it is also a step in the direction of becoming less dependent on fossil raw materials from abroad.”
North-CCU-Hub expects a gradual increase in the capacity of the North-C-Methanol hub from 65 MW in 2024 to 600 MW in 2030.
The partners in the project include Engie, PMV, Proman, Mitsubishi Power, North Sea Port, POM, Oiltanking, Fluxys, Alco Bio Fuel and ArcelorMittal.
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