Maersk-Backed Energy Firm Secures Land for Green Methanol Plant in Spain

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The new Maersk-backed fuel startup C2X has secured the land it will need to build a green methanol plant at the Port of Huelva, Spain. 

“Securing suitable land is an important step in our ambition to become a leading large-scale methanol producer in Spain. We are excited about this opportunity in Huelva to establish one of Europe’s leading green methanol facilities in such an optimal location,” said Brian Davis, C2X’s CEO. 

The 115-acre parcel at Huelva is located in the Punta del Sebo area, an industrial district south of the city center. C2X says it has enough space to make up to a million tonnes of green methanol per year at the site (when fully built out). There are still administrative steps to be finished before construction can start, C2X said. 

The agreement is an outgrowth of Maersk’s framework agreement with the government of Spain, signed in November 2022. That plan called for a total output capacity of two million tonnes a year, or twice the volume of the facility at Huelva. 

The deal is part of Spain’s plans to develop a “hydrogen valley” in Andalucia, which will have a total electrolysis capacity of two gigawatts and output of up to 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year. It is among the most ambitious projects of its kind in Europe, and is aimed squarely at bunker fuel production. Spanish refiner Cepsa – the project sponsor – says that it will prevent emissions of six million tonnes of CO2 per year. 

Andalusia is ideally suited for e-fuel production because of its abundant resources for onshore wind and onshore solar, which are among the cheapest sources of electricity (and substantially less expensive than offshore wind). It is also home to petchem plants that consume a lot of fossil-derived hydrogen, and these facilities are natural local consumers for the product. 

The port deal follows on the heels of a feasibility-study agreement that C2X signed with the government of Egypt in early October, which will evaluate the possibility of a total production capacity of one million tonnes per year. 

“Replacing the existing use of fossil methanol with green methanol, and also meeting the growing demand from the use of green methanol as a fuel, requires a step change in the global production capacity of non-fossil methanol,” AP Moller-Maersk said in announcing C2X’s launch last month. 

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