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Maersk Growth invests in WasteFuel to develop green methanol production

Denmark-headed global container shipping major A.P. Moller - Maersk has announced that it is investing in the California-based WasteFuel Global LLC (WasteFuel), a next-generation waste-to-fuel (WtF) developer that aims to transform waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), green bio-methanol, and renewable natural gas (RNG). This investment, the value of which has not been disclosed, is being made through Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

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Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk is investing an undisclosed amount in the California-based WasteFuel Global LLC (WasteFuel), a next-generation waste-to-fuel (WtF) developer that aims to transform waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable natural gas (RNG), and green bio-methanol (photo courtesy Maersk).

According to a statement, Maersk Growth’s investment will enable WasteFuel to develop biorefineries that utilize the most effective technologies available to produce sustainable fuels from unrecoverable waste that would otherwise degrade, and release methane and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

While the value of the investment has not been disclosed, Morten Bo Christiansen, VP and Head of Decarbonisation at A.P. Moller – Maersk, is joining the Board of WasteFuel.

Methanol, a promising fuel of the future

Maersk is “confident that green bio-methanol is one of the promising fuels of the future” as it can be scaled up and play an important role in decarbonizing supply chains within the next 10-15 years. For each feedstock and project, Maersk says that it evaluates the fuel’s sustainability as well as emission reductions, using lifecycle analysis (LCA) including all greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Maersk has already announced it would begin operating the world’s first dual-fuel container vessel, a 2 100 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) feeder vessel, on renewable methanol by 2023 and has secured a 10 000 tonnes-per-annum e-methanol offtake agreement with European Energy from a yet to be built production facility in Denmark.

Furthermore, Maersk has also recently announced that it will introduce in the first quarter of 2024, the first in a groundbreaking series of 8 large ocean-going container vessels (approximately 16 000 TEU) capable of being operated on carbon-neutral methanol.

We know that sourcing an adequate amount of green fuel for our methanol-fueled vessels will be very challenging, as it requires a significant production ramp-up globally. Collaboration and partnerships are key to scaling the production and distribution of sustainable fuels, and we look forward to doing exactly that with WasteFuel; exploring potential future green solutions not just for our vessels but also for Maersk aviation and trucking activities, said Morten Bo Christiansen.

Proven, scalable technologies

WasteFuel utilizes “proven, scalable technologies” to convert municipal- and agricultural waste into low-carbon fuels, RNG, and green methanol, and has developed “innovative technology pathways to meaningfully improve yields and further reduce emissions.”

​The company has strategic technology partnerships with leading global companies to ensure the environmental, operational, and commercial aspects of each biorefinery project are met safely, efficiently, and economically.

WasteFuel is developing projects in Asia and the Americas including a biorefinery in Manila, the Philippines, to produce low-carbon fuels including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The company has announced an offtake agreement with NetJets – the world’s largest private jet company owned by Berkshire Hathaway that has also a stake in WasteFuel.

We’re proud to have partnered with Maersk to usher in an era of more environmentally conscious sea transport. Our goal is for WasteFuel to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent compared to fossil fuels, said Trevor Neilson, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of WasteFuel.

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