New European consortium developing green fuel for aviation turns its attention to shipping

A front-runner for the next generation of green fuel for the aviation industry could be used for ships.

Oslo-headquartered Norsk e-Fuel is a newly-established industry consortium building Europe’s first commercial plant for hydrogen-based renewable aviation fuel.

The group comprises German power-to-liquid specialist Sunfire, Zurich-based carbon capture expert Climeworks, engineering, procurement and construction company Paul Wurth and green investor Valinor, which owns Norway’s largest private wind power developer Norsk Vind.

Norsk e-Fuel will make use of Sunfire and Climeworks’ technologies to build plants that will convert into syngas renewable electricity, water and carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from ambient air and unavoidable CO2 sources. This syngas will be used for the production of renewable fuels through further processing and refining.

The first such facility is planned to open at the Heroya Industry Park in Porsgrunn by 2023 with an initial capacity to produce 10m litres of renewable fuel per year. There are plans to expand it to 100m litres annually by 2026.

Speaking at a webinar yesterday, Karl Hauptmeier, managing director of Norsk e-Fuel, said: “The fuel we are producing can very well be used in shipping.”

Hauptmeier went on to claim: “Shipping is a sector where we will most likely be a solution.”

The topic of aviation and maritime joining forces to develop new clean fuels was brought up during the Capital Link digital forum on Monday by Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, the CEO of DNV GL Maritime.

Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), commented during the high level shipping association panel at Capital Link that shipping had had close dialogue with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) during the crew change crisis.

“I found them very, very responsive and quick to come back to us,” Poulsson said, adding: “I think in the future there could be some cooperation and collaboration with the airline industry.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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