Port of Antwerp turns to biomethanol

By ENGIE - 04 June 2020 - 12:13

ENGIE and the Port of Antwerp, Europe’s second-largest seaport, are investing in the construction of a “power-to-methanol” demonstration plant, as part of a consortium of 7 industrial players. This project, which will avoid the emission of nearly 8000 tonnes of CO2 per year, is fully in line with our strategy of transition towards carbon neutrality.


The Port of Antwerp is taking an important step in the transition to alternative energy sources to become a sustainable, circular, low-carbon port. ENGIE, Fluxys, Indaver, INOVYN, Oiltanking, the Port of Antwerp and Vlaamse Milieuholding (VMH) have set up the “Power-to-Methanol Antwerp B.V.” consortium to allow sustainable production of methanol, an essential raw material used by industry in the port.


A first in Belgium: the production of sustainable methanol

The production of sustainable methanol is a first in Belgium. Methanol is currently produced from fossil raw materials. With the Power-to-Methanol project, it will be produced by reusing captured CO2 in combination with sustainably produced hydrogen.


8000 tonnes of C02 emissions avoided every year

In the initial phase, the various partners will be working to prepare this innovative pilot project through research and development.


Construction of a demonstration plant at the INOVYN site on Scheldelaan should then begin, with annual production of 8000 tonnes of sustainable methanol coming into operation at the end of 2022, thus reducing CO2 emissions by an equivalent amount. 


For this project, ENGIE is bringing its knowledge of the electricity market, Oiltanking is advising on the logistics of methanol production and storage, and Indaver is providing its expertise in CO2 capture. Fluxys, for its part, is bringing its experience in infrastructure and its specific expertise in the certification of green gases. Vlaamse Milieuholding is providing part of the funding, while the Port of Antwerp is serving as a bridge between the private companies in the consortium and the Region. Finally, Ineos subsidiary INOVYN is providing a site for construction of the demonstration plant and offering its expertise on electrolysers and the operation of chemical facilities.


Output from the plant will meet part of the local demand for methanol. Methanol can be used in the future as a sustainable fuel with minimal emissions of harmful substances, for tugs, for example, as well as for normal road traffic.


“The consortium shows that by bringing together the knowledge and expertise of different partners, a whole lot can be set in motion,” said Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for the Economy, Innovation, Labour, Social economy and Agriculture.