In Denmark, A.P. Moller Holding has launched C2X Ltd, a new independent company aiming to build, own and operate assets to produce green methanol at scale. Announced in conjunction with the naming ceremony of "Laura Mærsk” – the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel – held in the Port of Copenhagen, Denmark on September 14, 2023, C2X plans to have annual production capacity of more than three million tonnes by 2030.
Methanol is one of the most traded chemical commodities globally and is a fundamental building block in many everyday products including plastics, glues, textiles, and other applications.
However, the methanol used today is almost exclusively made from fossil fuel sources, with natural gas and coal being the most common feedstocks.
This can be directly replaced by new supplies of green methanol made from e-methanol, based on renewable energy, or bio-methanol from agricultural and forestry byproducts.
Furthermore, based on new engine technology, green methanol can also be used as fuel to reduce fossil emissions in hard-to-abate industries such as long-distance shipping.
Stepping up green methanol production
Replacing the existing use of fossil methanol with green methanol, and also meeting the growing demand for the use of green methanol as a fuel, requires a step change in the global production capacity of non-fossil methanol.
Towards 2050, the annual demand for methanol could triple to some 300 million tonnes, with the majority being green methanol.
C2X aims to address this challenge through investments in large-scale green methanol production facilities and aims to support a variety of customers in the chemicals and shipping sectors who need green methanol to deliver their own greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets.
There is a pressing environmental requirement to scale the production of green methanol. C2X was founded to enable the energy transition in several hard-to-abate industries, including plastics, glues, textiles, and fuels. I am delighted to see the talented team who have joined C2X, and the strong interest from partners and prospective customers to support the venture’s important purpose and development, said Robert M. Uggla, CEO of A.P. Moller Holding.
C2X will develop green methanol from various pathways depending on the specifics of the location and is presently pursuing large-scale green methanol projects near the Suez Canal in Egypt and the Port of Huelva in Spain, as well as other opportunities across several geographies.
By 2030, the ambition is to have a production capacity of more than three million tonnes per annum from project opportunities in advantaged locations around the world.
These will serve to de-fossilize the chemical and shipping sectors including A.P. Moller-Maersk which has the intention to source green methanol from C2X.
Both companies are experiencing strong customer traction and have attracted external capital to fast-track their development. C2X is majority-owned by A.P. Moller Holding (80 percent) with A.P. Moller-Maersk as a 20 percent shareholder, together providing a solid foundation for the company.
A.P. Moller Holding has a track record of incubating new ventures, that support the energy transition, such as Innargi, a leading geothermal-based district heating company, established in 2017, and ZeroNorth, a SaaS platform used by more than 3,000 merchant ships to reduce emissions in ocean-based trade, established in 2020.
C2X has recruited a strong management team with complementary backgrounds and global experience.
Brian Davis has been appointed CEO of C2X and comes with 35 years of energy industry knowledge at Shell and other companies spanning the entire energy value chain, encompassing oil and gas, chemicals, and electricity sectors, and a track record of driving growth within complex business environments.
He is accompanied by Alastair Maxwell as CFO who comes with more than 30 years of banking experience from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as well as prior CFO and start-up experience.
C2X has a team of 60 people with diverse backgrounds in chemicals, renewables, construction of mega-projects, shipping, and finance.
Our focus is on developing our own large-scale projects and selective investments into attractive developments where we can help deliver those projects through access to our capital, expertise, and commercialization. We are building on our founders’ longstanding relations with authorities, customers, and suppliers around the world. The green methanol industry is nascent, new technologies are emerging, and we will work hard to drive down our production costs over time. However, there is a strong customer pull and regulatory support so we are confident that, together with our partners, we can deliver at scale, said Brian Davis, CEO of C2X.