Norsk e-Fuel AS, a new European industry consortium headquartered in Oslo, Norway, has recently revealed plans to industrialize Power-to-Liquid technology (PtL) for the European Market. A new state-of-the-art commercial-scale electro-fuel plant will allow the conversion of Norway’s extensive renewable electricity resources into renewable fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
At present, the European transport sector is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Especially for hard-to-electrify sectors such as the aviation industry, this new project holds the promise for a radical change towards climate-neutral transportation.
The Norsk e-Fuels consortium is composed of four partners: Germany-headed leading power-to-liquids (PtL) technology provider Sunfire GmbH; Switzerland-headed direct air capture (DAC) carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology pioneer Climeworks AG; Luxembourg-headed international engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company Paul Wurth SA (SMS Group) and Valinor AS, a Norwegian privately-held green investment company and parent company of Norsk Vind, the largest private wind power developer in Norway.
We are proud to have the best industry players including our Norwegian business partners on our side to realize this important project. Together, we combine the necessary corporate strength with the most advanced and efficient technologies to convert Norway’s extensive resources of wind- and hydropower into renewable fuels, said Karl Hauptmeier, General Manager of Norsk e-Fuel.
Single-step co-electrolysis process
Using a single step co-electrolysis process, the innovative technologies of Sunfire and Climeworks use renewable electricity to convert water and CO2 captured from ambient air and unavoidable CO2 sources into syngas. Renewable fuels, such as jet fuel, are then produced through further processing and refining. The certified end products can be used directly in existing infrastructures.
The potential for this project is staggering. Norsk e-fuel makes the supply of renewable fuel possible on a scale that is larger than has ever been achieved before – something that is crucial if we are to make global transportation truly sustainable. We are glad to contribute our direct air capture technology and know-how to help create renewable crude together with our partners, said Christoph Gebald, co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks.
The first pilot plant with a production capacity of 10 million litres annually will go into operation in 2023. This plant will be upscaled 10-fold to produce 100 million litres of renewable fuel before 2026. The upscaled, industrial-sized plant will then serve as a blueprint for a nationwide roll-out of the project.
To put this in perspective, only one industrial-scale plant will already provide enough blended renewable fuel for the top five domestic aviation routes in Norway combined (Oslo-Trondheim, Oslo-Bergen, Oslo-Stavanger, Oslo-Tromso and Oslo-Bodo). This would effectively cut the current flight emissions between these cities by about 50 percent, explained Lars Helge Helvig, Founder of Valinor and Chairman of Norsk Vind.
The first plant in Porsgrunn
The planning of the first plant to be located at Herøya Industry Park in Porsgrunn is already well underway. In addition to its vital infrastructure, the location in Herøya offers sufficient space for the planned industrial-sized upscaling.
The upscaled, industrial-sized Herøya plant is estimated to reduce fossil CO2 emissions from industry and aviation by up to 250 000 tonnes annually. Other locations for the following nationwide roll out have already been identified.
Apart from generating a large number of jobs both locally and nationally, the Norsk e-Fuel initiative is set to be a catalyst for the creation of a new clean energy business sector in Norway.
Climate change and rising costs for CO2 emissions result in a growing market for renewable solutions. This new project holds broad possibilities for Norway and Europe, offering the key to deeper decarbonisation than has ever been possible before. The energy transition is already progressing quickly in consumer-facing sectors – it is time for the industry to step up and bring technologies to scale to decarbonize the sectors that power our societies behind the scenes, remarked Georges Rassel, CEO of Paul Wurth.