Two major energy and maritime transport companies, Cepsa and Maersk, took advantage this Friday of the second day of COP28 held in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to announce an investment of up to 1,000 million euros to launch the largest green methanol plant in Europe. and one of the five largest in the world. The project has an annual production capacity of 300,000 tons of this compound, which is said to play a fundamental role in the decarbonization of cargo transportation by sea.
The tentative investment – which must be approved by 2025 – is part of the commitment of the Danish Maersk to Spain, where a year ago it revealed that it would allocate an amount of 10 billion euros to produce methanol from green hydrogen, which it will use as fuel for their ships.
According to Cepsa figures, when the project starts it will create up to 2,500 jobs, directly and indirectly, “and position Andalusia and Spain as a leading global hub of sustainable energy for the production of green molecule.” The renewable hydrogen produced in the Andalusian green hydrogen valley produced in Huelva and Cádiz will provide “part” of the amount needed for this plant to convert it into methanol.
“This project will not only mean a significant reduction in CO₂ emissions, but green methanol will also allow us to improve the sustainability of sectors that are difficult to decarbonize, such as maritime transport or the chemical industry,” said the Spanish president, Pedro. Sanchez, in Dubai. “This is an important step towards a future without fossil fuels, it places Spain as a global benchmark,” he added.
For his part, Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa—the second largest oil company in Spain and one of the European companies in the fossil sector that is trying to adapt the fastest to the future where the importance of oil and gas will be a minority— , appreciated the agreement with Maersk as “another milestone in our strategy to make Spain a European hub, with practical projects to reduce emissions in sectors that are difficult and urgent to decarbonize.” The chief executive of the energy company also emphasized the collaboration with the Government to “improve the regulatory framework necessary for this project to be successful and expandable.”