A consortium of seven players has been established to build a ‘power-to-methanol’ demonstration plant in the port of Antwerp.

Another important step forward in the transition to alternative energy sources and a sustainable, low-carbon circular port, the project comprises Engie, Fluxys, Indaver, Inovyn, Oiltanking, Port of Antwerp and the PMV – investment company of the Flemish Government.

Construction of a demonstration plant at the Inovyn site in Antwerp is scheduled to start by 2022, with the aim of producing 8,000 tonnes of sustainable methanol annually, avoiding at least an equivalent volume of CO2 emissions.

Methanol is an essential multi-purpose raw material for the chemical industry, with many applications in wider industry as well.

This key raw material is indispensable to the daily operation of the port of Antwerp as the largest European integrated energy and chemical cluster in the region.

Currently, methanol is produced using fossil raw materials. The ‘power-to-methanol’ project aims to replace this with sustainably produced methanol, a first for Belgium.

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Source: Indaver

This methanol will be produced from captured CO2 and sustainably generated hydrogen.

The carbon dioxide is captured by means of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU), through which CO2 emissions are partially recovered and then combined with hydrogen generated on the basis of green energy produced from renewable electricity.

Port alderman Annick De Ridder said, “Our future prosperity will be sustainable, or there will be no prosperity. Innovation is key to tackling climate change.”

“In Flanders we have a tradition of innovative entrepreneurship and as Port of Antwerp we play a pioneering role in serving as a testbed for technological and sustainable innovation.”

“We combine this innovation with our strengths as a multi-industry port platform to promote promising applications such as CCU and hydrogen.”

“In the meantime it gives a strong signal that Port of Antwerp is keeping to its transition agenda and working hard towards it, even during the Covid-19 crisis.”