Fishing vessels calling at Hanstholm could soon have methanol as an alternative bunker option. Image Credit: Port of Hanstholm
The Port of Hanstholm in Denmark is planning to develop green methanol production facilities for ships operating in the area.
The authority has signed a declaration of intent with Danish renewable energy developer European Energy as a step towards becoming Europe's first carbon-neutral fishing port, it said in a statement on its website this week.
The plan is to develop solar and wind energy plants at the port, leading to production sites for green hydrogen and synthetic methanol that can be used as fuel by ships calling there.
"We are in the process of identifying possible local CO2 sources in and around Hanstholm as suppliers for an e-methanol plant, which is a green alternative to the ships' current oil consumption," Knud Erik Andersen, CEO of European Energy, said in the statement.
"At the same time, we are looking at the construction of a hydrogen plant, which in addition to being another significant resource for the production of e-methanol, also releases oxygen as a residual product, which can, for example, be a resource for fish farming in aquaculture at the port.
"In this way, we can revolutionize the port's industrial cluster and meet tomorrow's energy needs."
Methanol has made significant progress as an alternative bunker fuel choice over the past two years following container shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk's decision to use it as fuel for its first carbon-neutral ships. Engine technology and ship design is largely in place for bio- and synthetic methanol to be used as carbon-neutral fuels, if supply can be built up, while more research and development is likely to be needed before ammonia can safely be used as an alternative bunker fuel.
Maersk's first methanol-fuelled boxship is due for delivery in the middle of next year.
The Port of Hanstholm and European Eenergy are planning to begin negotiations on a final agreement early this month.