SunGas funding $2bn green methanol plant for Maersk ships

Houston-based SunGas Renewables has invested $2bn to construct a new green methanol production facility in central Louisiana which will fuel Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels.

In order to do this SunGas formed a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Beaver Lake Renewable Energy (BLRE), which will be in charge of the construction of the facility.

BLRE is expected to generate around 400,000 metric tons of green methanol per year for marine fuel from the facility. The new company will create more than 1,150 jobs during construction and more than 100 local jobs during operation.

Green methanol produced by BLRE will be used to fuel Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels and will utilize wood fibre from local, sustainably managed forests.

The methanol will have a negative carbon intensity through the sequestration of nearly a million tons per year of carbon dioxide produced by the project, which will be executed by Denbury Carbon Solutions.

SunGas Renewables will invest approximately $2bn via BLRE to construct the project at the former International Paper facility in Rapides Parish. It is expected to begin construction in late 2024 with commercial operations starting in 2027.

In late 2022, SunGas Renewables announced a strategic green methanol partnership with Maersk to produce green methanol from multiple facilities around the country. The BLRE project is SunGas Renewable’s first facility to produce green methanol for Maersk.

“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,” said Robert Rigdon, CEO of SunGas Renewables.

Maersk stated yesterday via social media channels that the world’s first container vessel powered by green methanol is setting sail on its maiden voyage from Singapore to Copenhagen. According to the company’s website, the vessel will arrive in Denmark in 47 days.

Last month, Maersk ordered six 9,000 teu methanol dual-fuel containerships from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China. Currently, the company has 25 methanol-enabled vessels on order.

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