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Project AIR selected for EU Innovation Fund support

Project AIR selected for EU Innovation Fund support
At the COP28 climate conference, the European Investment Fund (EIF), Europe’s largest venture capital and private equity financier, announced new investments totaling EUR 200 million to enable four private equity funds to back EUR 2 billion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments.

Project AIR, a unique production facility for sustainable methanol in Stenungsund, Sweden, is one of 17 large-scale green tech projects that the EU Innovation Fund has selected for grant support.

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A collaboration between Perstorp, Fortum, and Uniper, Project AIR had applied for EUR 97 million in support while the total investment is expected to amount to more than EUR 230 million.

According to global specialty chemicals major Perstorp Group, Project AIR is a gamechanger for the chemical industry, moving from fossil raw materials to recycled and bio-based feedstock, thereby enabling sustainable chemical products to a large variety of industries and end products.

The Innovation Fund’s decision shows that Project Air is an important future investment for the climate. This is a crucial decision for Perstorp, our customers, and partners, as it creates increased availability of sustainable chemical products throughout our value chains, said Jan Secher, President and CEO of Perstorp.

An innovative combination of existing tech

Project AIR is based on the innovative usage of existing technology in a large-scale industrial application.

To produce sustainable methanol, the facility utilizes significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other residue streams recovered from Perstorp’s ongoing operations, biogas from new dedicated plants together with hydrogen from a new large electrolysis plant.

Furthermore, the water discharged from the existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) will be utilized as feed water for the electrolysis.

All electrical energy for the combined project will be renewable based. The ambition is to start up large-scale production by 2026.

The chemical industry needs carbon but it must be non-fossil carbon and it must be put into circular flows so we get rid of CO2 in the atmosphere. I am proud to be the leader of a company that has the ability to drive such an industry-leading transformation project, said Jan Secher.

Build at Stenungsund

Project AIR will be built at Perstorp’s existing facilities in Stenungsund, strengthening the regional chemicals industry cluster, Hållbar Kemi 2030 (Sustainable Chemistry 2030).

At full capacity, it will reduce CO2 emissions by close to 500 000 tonnes from today’s levels, corresponding to 1 percent of current emissions in Sweden.

The sustainable methanol from Project AIR will be used to produce chemical products which in turn are used in a variety of applications in several industries and businesses.

It’s ultimately about making thousands of end-products more sustainable, from mobile screens, and paints to fabrics.

As a result of the upstream positioning of the chemical industry in the value chain, the project has the potential to make many other production processes and industries more sustainable.

Project AIR recovers carbon atoms that would otherwise remain in the earth’s atmosphere.

Project Air is one of 17 projects awarded a total of EUR 1.8 billion by the Innovation Fund. The consortium now enters the Grant Agreement Preparation process, which is to be completed during the fourth quarter.

The project design and planning of the facility are being conducted in parallel.

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