Ørsted opens a new era in green shipping by breaking ground on Europe’s largest e-methanol project
Today, at an event in Örnsköldsvik in Northern Sweden, Ørsted broke ground on Europe’s largest e-methanol project, FlagshipONE. The groundbreaking of FlagshipONE not only marks the construction start of the project, but also 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 regulation such as Fuel EU Maritime is also increasing the demand for new, green maritime fuels. FlagshipONE will start production in 2025 when it will produce 50,000 tonnes of e-methanol yearly.
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, where the groundbreaking event also took place. The event was attended by political representatives from both local, regional, national, and international bodies as well as by representatives from partner companies, including Siemens Energy, Carbon Clean, and Topsoe, who will deliver the electrolysers and control system, the carbon capture equipment, and the methanol synthesis equipment, respectively. In addition to these major equipment suppliers, local companies are already involved in the project, and the operation of the plant will also create direct and indirect jobs in Örnskoldsvik.
Among the speakers at the event were also Klimatklivet, a part of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, who have supported FlagshipONE with SEK 151 million. The groundbreaking was done by Anna Dahlberg, State Secretary to the Prime Minister of Sweden; Anna-Britta Åkerlind, Chair of the municipality board of Örnsköldsvik Municipality; Anders Nordstrøm, COO of Ørsted P2X; Claes Fredriksson, founder and CEO of Liquid Wind; and Kristina Säfsten, CEO of Övik Energi.
The event in Örnsköldsvik focused on the need to decarbonise global maritime transport and on the large potential for Sweden to become a key market for the production of e-methanol, which is emerging as shipping’s preferred route to zero emissions in the 2020s. Sweden has ample opportunity to develop renewable energy, like onshore and offshore wind, and has a world-leading forest industry to supply the biogenic carbon needed to produce e-methanol. Örnsköldsvik is one of the centres of the Swedish forest industry, having a large commercial presence from advanced forest-based industries.
Anders Nordstrøm, COO of Ørsted P2X, says:
“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 of Liquid Wind, says:
“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 of Övik Energi, says:
“Today, 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.”
Global shipping accounts for around 3 % of global carbon emissions, and 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 ambitious green fuel pipeline; the company is also developing the 300,000 tonnes/year ‘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.
FlagshipONE is located on the grounds of the biomass-fired combined heat and power plant Hörneborgsverket in Örnsköldsvik, operated by Övik Energi. The e-methanol from FlagshipONE will be produced using renewable electricity and biogenic carbon dioxide captured from Hörneborgsverket. In addition, FlagshipONE will use steam, process water, and cooling water from Hörneborgsverket, and excess heat from the e-methanol production process will be delivered back to Övik Energi and integrated into their district heating supply.