An agreement for a waste to methanol plant in Rotterdam was announced earlier this week. Enerkem that already have similar production plants in Canada is a partner in the project. Other partners include AkzoNobel and Air Liquide that will also supply hydrogen and oxygen for the production. 

The production capacity is cited as 220 000 mt of methanol. Non-recyclable waste and plastics is used as feedstock for the methanol. 

Enerkem have a similar plant in Canada and also produce ethanol. The waste is used to produced syn gas that is synthesized to methanol. For ethanol production the synthesis is taken one step further with methanol as an intermediate step. 

Further information can be found at [external link]

During 2016 seven methanol tankers with methanol dual fuelled MAN two stroke engines were introduced to the world. Following the successful introduction four more ships have been announced and are expected to be delivered during 2019.

All four ships will be built at Hyndai Mippo Dockyard in Korea. The class of the new ships has not been announced but the out of the seven previously built ships DNV-GL classed four and was involved in the methanol approval of all seven. 

All four ships will be chartered by Waterfront Shipping (WFS), a subsidiary to methanol producer Methanex. 

Two of the vessels will be owned in a joint venture between WFS and Marinvest, one will be owned by NYK and the fourth will be owned in a joint venture between IINO and Mitsui.

Methanex press release [external link]

For the Swedish speaking readers there is an interesting program available Radio Sweden (SR) where carbon capture and especially carbon capture and utilisation is discussed. Especially in the context of using CO2 as building block for renewable fuels, i.e. electrofuels. Methanol is one of the molecules that is relatively easy to synthesise and thus a good alternative for large scale production. 

The program is available for download or streaming from the Radio Sweden website and the program is called Klotet. 

Listen of download the program

For some time the fuel price graph has been broken but the functionality has now returned. If you have missed it, just click on ”Methanol Fuel Price” above in the menu.

With the return there is also a new fuel plotted, namely Electrofuel. Electrofuel in this context is also methanol but methanol produced from electricity in Sweden. This fuel is not commercially available which means that the price plotted function more as an indicator of what the fuel price could look like rather than a real alternative today.

First of all, this is what Wikipedia has to say about electrofuel:  ”Electrofuels are an emerging class of carbon-neutral drop-in replacement fuels that are made by storing electrical energy from renewable sources in the chemical bonds of liquid or gas fuels.[1][2] The primary targets are butanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen, but include other alcohols and carbon-containing gasses such as methane and butane.”

Calculating the price for electo-methanol is based on research from Maria Grahn, Chalmers University, and the spot price of electricity on the Nordic market Nord Pool, area s3 in Sweden. 



Södra announced that they will start production of biomethanol at the pulp mill in Mönsterås, Sweden. The facility is scheduled to be completed by spring 2019 and have a capacity of 5000 ton biomethanol annually.

The investment of about 100 million SEK (10 million €) will refine crude methanol produced in the pulp process. The biomethanol produced till be fully made of forest residuals and a 99 % CO2 neutral fuel.

Södra press release [link]