Renewables

Danske Commodities to optimize world’s largest power-to-X facility

Danske Commodities optimize consumption-world largest power to X

Photo: Laura Maersk, the world's first methanol-enabled container vessel, moored in Copenhagen harbor (iStock)

Published

June 25, 2024

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Published:

June 25, 2024

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Danske Commodities is expanding its role, being the balance responsible party for the Kassø solar park of 304 MW in Denmark, to optimizing electricity consumption at the Kassø power-to-X facility. It is the largest system of its kind in the world. The complex is preparing to launch the production of e-methanol for clients including Maersk, to be used as transportation fuel, and for more sustainable plastic production.

Energy trader Danske Commodities and Solar Park Kassø (SPK) signed an optimization agreement for the Kassø power-to-X (PtX) facility in Denmark. Once operational, it will become the world’s largest commercial plant of its kind, according to the announcement.

The facility is set to supply clients with e-methanol for transportation and more sustainable plastic production. Among them is shipping giant Maersk, which in September introduced the world’s first container vessel equipped with a methanol propulsion system.

SPK is a joint venture co-owned by European Energy (51%), which developed the power-to-X project, and Japanese trading and investment company Mitsui. The facility in Southern Denmark is about to launch production before the end of the year, with capacity envisaged at 32,000 tons a year.

Danske Commodities to ensure Kassø plant operates at maximum efficiency

The partnership will ensure that the Kassø facility operates at maximum efficiency, said European Energy’s Chief Executive Officer Knud Erik Andersen. Since 2022, Danske Commodities has been the balance responsible party for the adjacent Kassø solar park, also owned by SPK. It will supply the PtX plant with electricity. Under the new deal, the company will also manage the consumption of power needed to produce e-methanol.

The 304 MW Kassø solar park is the biggest in the Nordics

The energy trading company optimizes renewables and flexible energy assets. It noted that it has a fully automated algorithmic setup and that Kassø is the first PtX facility in its portfolio.

The 304 MW Kassø solar park is the biggest in the Nordics. When it produces more than the e-methanol plant needs, Danske Commodities will make the surplus energy available to other consumers and sell it in the market. The company said that when there is a shortage, it would purchase electricity in the spot market in the most cost-efficient hours.

The complex is located in Aabenraa, near the German border. Danske Commodities is fully owned by Equinor.

Methanol is fuel for decarbonizing maritime transport

Maersk has arranged with European Energy an annual supply of up to 300,000 tons of e-methanol, starting in 2025/26.

The fuel is produced from low-carbon hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis, and carbon from carbon dioxide emitted in industrial production processes and captured.

Methanol has significant potential for decarbonization and as an alternative fuel for ships. It is easy to handle and move, as it is in liquid form. Moreover, it can be stored and filled at atmospheric temperature and pressure.

Methanol can be easily transported, stored, and filled at atmospheric temperature and pressure

Methanol doesn’t take up much space on board a ship, unlike batteries and hydrogen tanks. Tanks require fewer safety precautions than hydrogen and ammonia.

Additionally, it doesn’t jeopardize the environment much, it’s not highly toxic like ammonia, it is more energy-efficient than other green fuels and can be used with existing infrastructure.

However, green methanol production is more expensive than conventional methanol, which is obtained from coal or natural gas.

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