At Örnsköldsvik in Sweden, Ørsted has broken ground on what is said to be Europe’s largest e-methanol project, FlagshipONE.
This marks the start of construction of the project, as well as the first steps in a new green era of shipping, where large-scale methanol production facilities will supply a constantly growing fleet of methanol-powered vessels. Currently, over 110 e-methanol vessels have been ordered or are in operation, up from 80 vessels at the end of 2022. At the same time, new regulations such as Fuel EU Maritime are increasing the demand for new, green maritime fuels. FlagshipONE will start production in 2025 when it will produce 50,000t/yr of e-methanol.
Originally developed by the Swedish e-fuels company Liquid Wind, FlagshipONE will be located next to Övik Energi’s combined heat and power plant Hörneborgsverket in Örnsköldsvik. Partner companies in the project include Siemens Energy, Carbon Clean, and Topsoe, who will deliver the electrolysers and control system, the carbon capture equipment, and the methanol synthesis equipment, respectively.
Sweden is considered to offer significant potential as a key market for the production of e-methanol, which is emerging as one of shipping’s preferred routes to zero emissions in the 2020s. Sweden has ample opportunity to develop renewable energy, like onshore and offshore wind, and its forest industry can supply the biogenic carbon needed to produce e-methanol. Örnsköldsvik is one of the centres of the Swedish forest industry.
Anders Nordstrøm, COO Ørsted P2X, said: “FlagshipONE is a pioneering project that will open a new era for green shipping and for Ørsted. I’m very pleased that we’ve now started on-site construction together with other green fuel leaders from across the supply chain, and together with representatives from Örnsköldsvik, Västernorrlands Län and Sweden at large. FlagshipONE will be the first project in a new green industry in Sweden, which Ørsted intends to spearhead.”
Claes Fredriksson, CEO and founder Liquid Wind, said: “FlagshipONE will soon become the largest commercial-scale electrofuel facility in Europe and at Liquid Wind we are thrilled that Ørsted is now starting the construction phase of the project. FlagshipONE is our first sold project and is just the beginning of our journey to become the leading developer of electrofuel facilities. This milestone will hopefully inspire many others to also contribute to the decarbonization of shipping. Today is a historical day for Sweden as we put the country on the map as a developer and producer of green electrofuel. All with the intent of reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.”
Kristina Säfsten, CEO Övik Energi, said: “We celebrate a long-awaited milestone towards finally seeing FlagshipONE take shape adjacent to our power plant. Through Ørsted and the new e-methanol facility, we’ve gained a significant new industrial customer at the High Coast Innovation Park while at the same achieving a reduced carbon footprint. We welcome Ørsted to Örnsköldsvik and look forward to the realisation of this important green initiative.”
With global shipping accounting for around 3% of global carbon emissions, the sector is a focus area for Ørsted as the company expands its presence in Power-to-X across Northern Europe and the US. FlagshipONE is the first e-methanol project in Ørsted’s green fuel pipeline; the company is developing the 300,000t/yr ‘Project Star’ in the US Gulf Coast area and the ‘Green Fuels for Denmark’ project in Copenhagen, which will also produce significant volumes of e-methanol to enable the decarbonisation of shipping.