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Gasification systems manufacturer SunGas Renewables has announced plans to construct a new green methanol production facility in central Louisiana, US, as it gears up to fuel A.P. Moller – Maersk’s new fleet of methanol-powered container ships. 

The syngas supplier will form a new company, called Beaver Lake Renewable Energy (BLRE), to carry out the construction of the facility, which is expected to generate nearly 400,00 metric tonnes of green methanol for marine fuel per year. 

CEO Robert Rigdon said: “Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere.” 

The company’s partnership with Maersk was announced at the end of 2022 and will also include the supply of green methanol from a number of facilities around the US with the Beaver Lake project marking the first of them. 

SunGas is expecting approximately $2bn to be invested by BLRE into the project, which will begin construction in late 2024 as the former International Paper facility in Rapides Parish and is projected to begin commercial operations in 2027. 

Maersk head of energy markets Emma Mazhari said: “We would like to thank SunGas Renewables for showing great leadership and for its commitment to the green transition of energy. 

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“This is helping Maersk to deliver valuable services to our customers and is aligned with our aim to reach net zero greenhouse emissions by 2040. Together, as pioneers in the field, SunGas and Maersk are driving a much-needed transition in a heavy pollution industry.” 

Maersk has made a number of investments into the use of green methanol in recent years, choosing the fuel as one of its main avenues in the exploration for more sustainable marine fuel. It is approaching the maiden voyage for its world-first methanol-enabled container vessel this summer, which will be powered by fuel from OCI Global. 

The company has 25 methanol-powered vessels on order from various shipbuilders, including an order of 6 vessels from China-based Yangzijang Shipbuilding Group in June 2023.