Ørsted: The World’s Largest Sustainable Fuel Project

by Editor, Lina Kurdi.

Ørsted join forces with leading Danish companies for the world’s largest sustainable fuel project.

Ørsted, the Danish renewable energy company, has joined forces with Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – MaerskDSV PanalpinaDFDSSASCOWI and BCG to transition Denmark’s transport sector to renewable energy.

These Danish companies have collaborated to bring together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels in an industrial scale hydrogen and e-fuel production facility that could potentially become the largest electrolyser and sustainable fuel production facility in the world. 

The facility could potentially supply renewable hydrogen for zero emission buses run by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina. Potentially, the facility can also provide renewable methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk vessels and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS aeroplanes. 

Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted, views this project as a “defining leap forward for the production of sustainable fuels in Denmark, which will further reinforce Denmark’s role as a global leader in technologies and business models for a sustainable future.”

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, CPH Airport, described this collaboration as “crucial” for decarbonising the transport sector in Denmark. “It also supports the ambition to transition Danish aviation to become completely free of carbon emissions in 2050 and make Denmark a pioneer in the development of future climate-friendly fuels,” Woldbye added. 

The partners have planned this project in three parts:

The first part includes a 10MW electrolyser, with the goal of becoming fully operational and producing renewable hydrogen for buses and trucks by 2023.  

The second part includes a 250MW electrolyser facility, which will be used to produce renewable hydrogen with sustainable carbon capture from point-sources in the Greater Copenhagen area to produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel (e-kerosene) for the aviation sector. This part of the project depends on offshore wind power from Rønne Banke, Bornholm, which can only be delivered in 2027. 

The third part involves offshore wind power from Rønne Banke, which will reach its fullest potential by 2030. This will upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW, which has the potential to produce 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels for buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and aeroplanes. 

Moving away from fossil fuels

Overall, this project, once the electrolyser is fully operational, has the potential to replace 5% of fossil fuel use at Copenhagen Airport by 2027 and 30% by 2030.    

According to the press release from Ørsted, currently, the companies involved in this project are in talks with the regulatory authorities to determine the framework and policies needed to move forward with this project, and public co-funding is needed to conduct a full feasibility study of the project.

The project could start as soon as 2021 if the feasibility study confirms that the sustainability initiatives set by this project can be achieved.  

Further, the Ørsted press release states that the electrolyser facility will not only enable the partner companies to decarbonise their businesses, but significantly contribute to Denmark’s ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% in 2030

Once this project is fully operational, it will be a key driving force for Denmark to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, setting an example for the rest of the world.  

This project reflects Denmark’s determination to continue with its sustainability goals despite the challenges COVID-19 has created for the participating companies. 

Lina Kurdi

Lina Kurdi is an Editor and Senior Writer at CleanTech News with a primary focus on renewable energy. Lina became interested in sustainability initiatives in 2012, when news of global warming dominated the headlines. From then on, Lina has paid close attention to cleantech developments and the impact they have on protecting the Earth and all its inhabitants. With a particular interest in energy, Lina passionately believes renewable energy is the way forward into a sustainable future with net zero emissions.