Denmark-headed fuel cell developer and manufacturer, Blue World Technologies ApS has announced that Maersk Growth, the venture capital arm of global shipping and logistics major A.P. Møller – Maersk (Maersk) is participating in an EUR 11 million pre-C-round alongside The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), Cycle Group, and other new and existing shareholders.
The shipping industry accounts for around 3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is considered a hard-to-abate sector. Therefore, there is a need for green fuels and new technologies to reach the targeted climate goals.
According to Blue World Technologies, its methanol fuel cells enable efficient conversion of methanol to electricity with a superior electrical efficiency of up to 65 percent.
In addition, the fuel cells provide the potential for internal waste heat utilization to optimize the methanol-reforming process and for additional energy recovery that can be used onboard, improving the total system efficiency.
Carbon capture capability
The company’s patent-pending system architecture enables a reduction in fuel consumption of 20-30 percent paving the way for a reduction in the green premium related to fuelling with e-fuels.
The fuel cell system architecture also provides an opportunity for 100 percent capture of the generated carbon dioxide (CO2) with a fuel increase penalty of only 2-3 percent enabling attractive recycling business models.
With an industrial approach, Blue World Technologies has built a fuel cell factory in Aalborg, Denmark, ensuring in-house production of all the core fuel cell components alongside system development and manufacturing.
Maersk has taken the lead on decarbonising the shipping industry showing courage and determination to make a difference. But most importantly, they act. We are therefore extremely proud to have them on board in this financing round. We are also very pleased that Maersk is joined by The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark, Cycle Group, and other new and existing shareholders in Blue World, and we are thrilled about their continuous endorsement of our company and the journey we are on, said Anders Korsgaard, Co-founder and CEO at Blue World Technologies.
Pilot for auxiliary power
Maersk has set an ambition for its entire business including its fleet of around 700 container vessels to reach net zero emission in 2040.
The company has recently received its first green methanol-enabled vessel “Laura Maersk” and has another 24 vessels capable of sailing on green methanol on order for delivery in the coming years.
On top of the venture investment in Blue World Technologies, Maersk has ordered a methanol fuel cell pilot system for auxiliary power developed by Blue World to be installed on one of Maersk’s methanol-powered container ships on order.
The system is subject to being class-approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).
At Maersk, we see methanol fuel cells as an interesting and promising technology. With well above 100 methanol-enabled vessels on order across the industry, the demand for green fuel is rising. The prospect of fuel cell technology to significantly improve energy efficiency for these expensive green fuels could become an important component in closing the price gap to conventional bunker fuel and enable the green transition of shipping, said Ole Graa Jakobsen, VP of Fleet Technology at A.P. Møller–Maersk.
Being one of the early investors in Blue World Technologies, The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark is happy to welcome Maersk on board.
The global green transformation of our society is an enormous task that requires more than just wind turbines. One next step is the decarbonization of the transport sector with its fuel-demanding cars, trucks, planes, ships, etc. Some of this can be handled by electrification. However certain hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy road transport, aviation, and shipping require the development of sustainable fuels. Our task is to find the technologies of the future and help them get quickly from the very early stages to scaling and making transformative technologies at an industrial scale and thus also at a lower cost point than seen before. That´s why this makes much sense to EIFO, Peder Lundquist, CEO of The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark.