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GIDARA Energy unveils Advanced Methanol Amsterdam

GIDARA Energy unveils Advanced Methanol Amsterdam
An artist’s rendering of Advanced Methanol Amsterdam (AMA), the first advanced biofuels facility in the Netherlands for GIDARA Energy B.V. that with proprietary gasification technology will convert non-recyclable waste into advanced methanol that will be used for fuel blending (image courtesy GIDARA Energy).

During the summer, Dutch technology-based energy company GIDARA Energy B.V. unveiled details of Advanced Methanol Amsterdam (AMA), it's first advanced biofuels facility that will be built in the Port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The plant will convert non-recyclable waste into advanced methanol that will be used for fuel blending.

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Founded in 2019, GIDARA Energy is a Joint Venture between G.I. Dynamics B.V., an independent international technology partner, and Ara Partners LLC, a US-headed private equity firm specializing in industrial decarbonization investments.

GIDARA Energy is focused on converting non-recyclable waste into syngas, a clean and versatile source of energy and/or chemical building block.

Proven gasification technology

GIDARA Energy is also the owner of the commercially proven High-Temperature Winkler Gasification Technology (HTW), a gasification technology that it acquired from ThyssenKrupp in 2019.

Rendering detail of a technology island
Rendering detail of a technology island (image courtesy GIDARA Energy).

The HTW gasification technology has a long and proven pedigree. It was originally first developed almost a century ago in Germany by Rheinbraun AG (now RWE) for coal gasification before being redeveloped in the 1990s by RWE for biomass and waste gasification applications in Germany and Japan respectively.

In 2010, the HTW technology was acquired by Thyssen Krupp Uhde who further developed it prior to GIDARA Energy acquiring the intellectual property rights (IPR) in 2019, and further improving the technical performance to the next-generation – HTW 2.0.

We are in a unique position owning a proven gasification process with a track record for this application, which eliminates any major process, or technology risks, said Wim van der Zande, CEO at GIDARA Energy.

Converting non-recyclable waste to methanol

Based on its HTW 2.0 gasification technology, GIDARA Energy has designed modular standardized process units to gasify non-recyclable waste into syngas that can be processed into a variety of end-products such as methanol.

Feedstock to fuel and chemicals schematic
Feedstock agnostic and end-product flexible process (graphic courtesy GIDARA Energy).

The AMA facility is the company’s first commercial-scale plant facility and is expected to produce an average of 87 500 tonnes per annum of methanol from 175 000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste.

We purposely selected this plant’s capacity and configuration because of the experiences in operated facilities, matching local feedstock availability and local blending capacity, said Wim van der Zande.

All the process blocks have a modular design. This standardized sizing and design results in a significant reduction in project schedule and costs. In case of higher demand for product capacity, several standardized units can be implemented in parallel.

Our focus is to establish the AMA facility and use the same configuration at future locations in the Netherlands, Europe, and North America said Wim van der Zande.

The AMA facility will be built in the BioPark, an industrial location in the Port of Amsterdam developed especially for producers of renewable fuels. The state-of-the-art AMA facility will include a knowledge centre complete with a testing facility and pilot plant as well as a commercial-scale plant using the patented
HTW technology.

As part of the energy transition, Port of Amsterdam is working towards more sustainable sources of fuel and achieving overall lower emissions, and maximizing recycling. The AMA initiative is a bridge between waste handling and the renewable fuel industry. It is a flagship project to bring us closer to achieving our sustainability objectives, commented Roon van Maanen, Director Energy & Circular Industry at Port of Amsterdam.

Circular approach

According to Wim van der Zande, the overall objective is to contribute to better, more sustainable fuels and a circular economy, while providing port expansion, thus more employment.

AMA will be working in close cooperation with local partners and several universities.

The value chain represents an important step in realizing GIDARA Energy’s goal of converting non-recyclable waste into valuable end products. As such, GIDARA Energy, bp, PARO, and Linde are delivering on their commitment to improving their sustainability footprint, moving towards a circular economy, said Wim van der Zande.

Schematic over GIDARA Energy's circular economy approach
Local municipal energy provider AEB will provide the steam and power for the project, while Amsterdam-based waste treatment company PARO, together with AMA, will build a facility adjacent to AMA to pelletize the non-recyclable waste that will be used as feedstock (graphic courtesy GIDARA Energy).

The experience of GIDARA in chemical plants and gasification plus PARO’s experience in waste handling and recycling makes it possible to develop a waste sorting and pelletizing facility suitable for the HTW gasification technology. By having PARO’s waste handling adjacent to the AMA site, eliminates the need for unnecessary transport and rehandling of waste material and pellets, said Gerard Putman, Director at PARO.

The bio-syngas to downstream applications are in full compliance with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), and on the other end, bp is the exclusive offtaker of the “advanced” methanol from the project.

We believe that by partnering with AMA on the offtake of advanced methanol, we can use our longstanding biofuels expertise to successfully integrate AMA’s product into multiple energy markets in which we trade, said David Bucknall, SVP Refining & Products Trading, bp.

Carbon capture and utilization

Wim van der Zande, CEO of GIDARA Energy
Wim van der Zande, CEO of GIDARA Energy (photo courtesy GIDARA Energy).

The project is at the front-end engineering and design (FEED) stage with the start of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) during Q1/2022.

Expected to be fully operational in 2024, GIDARA Energy is aiming for near-zero emissions by minimizing overall waste throughout the entire value chain and process integration.

This includes process side streams such as green carbon dioxide (CO2) and solid residues, the latter of which will be used by the cement industry located in the vicinity.

For the former, GIDARA Energy and AMA are working closely with Linde to develop the capture and production of clean green CO2, which is planned by Linde subsidiary OCAP to be made available for the greenhouse horticulture sector.

A CO2-enriched atmosphere in the greenhouses is important in the growth of plants, and the sector is facing a shortage of availability of green CO2 in the near future.

We are excited to collaborate with GIDARA Energy and AMA as it offers OCAP the opportunity to use green CO2. Without the availability of green CO2 as provided by OCAP, greenhouses have no other alternative than to produce their own CO2 by burning natural gas. This puts their sustainability goals at risk, said Jacob Limbeek, Director at OCAP.

In addition, GIDARA Energy, AMA, and Linde work together to make oxygen (O2) available for the gasification process used by AMA.

The value chain represents an important step in realizing GIDARA Energy’s goal of converting non-recyclable waste into valuable end products. As such, GIDARA Energy, bp, PARO, and Linde are delivering on their commitment to improving their sustainability footprint, moving towards a circular economy, ended Wim van der Zande.

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