International energy company Global Energy Group (GEG) has partnered with Swiss-based integrated energy company Proman to develop a renewable power to methanol plant making use of local sources of captured carbon dioxide (CO2).

The agreement is set to cover the entire process from development to shipping, afforded by the fact that GEG is also the owner of the Nigg Oil Terminal and Proman is the second largest methanol producer in the world.

Following completion of ongoing financial technical feasibility studies, as well as development and financing, Proman will become the owner, operator and off taker of the green methanol production facility, known as the Cromarty Clean Fuels Project.

To increase local productivity, attract investment and stimulate new partnerships, GEG intends to establish an industrial low carbon cluster at the Port of Nigg. This will in turn help the Scottish and UK governments achieve their climate change targets.

Speaking about the agreement, Tim Cornelius, CEO, GEG, said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with Proman on this potentially seminal project for Scotland.”

“Green methanol can be made from many plentiful sources and with the efforts being made to capture North Sea carbon dioxide, we hope to become an important customer and consumer of projects such as the Acorn Projet to produce clean fuels for the wider maritime transport sector.”

He added that the plant will have the capability of harnessing excess power to produce green methanol, which can then be used as an automotive or shipping fuel or even as a chemical building block.

The methanol is intended to be stored onshore at Nigg and exported on bulk carrier vessels using the repurposed Nigg Jetty. An optimal scale for the project will be assessed during the feasibility study.

David Cassidy, CEO, Proman, commented, “Working with GEG in establishing green methanol production in Scotland is an exciting development in our strategy as it combines the necessary requirements of low cost renewable energy and utilises local sources of captured CO2 to produce green methanol.”

“Green methanol presents a significant opportunity to bridge the gap from fossil-based to renewable fuels as we move to a lower carbon future.”

Green methanol is produced via ‘green’ methods, with the hydrogen required being produced from renewable practices such as electrolysis and the CO2 produced from recycling methods such as CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage). With the ability to heavily reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating sulphur oxide and particulate matter, the adoption of green methanol could be one way to fight climate change and improve public health.