Belgium: Engineering Consortium to Construct Demo Plant for Sustainable Methanol
The Port of Antwerp is partnering with six firms to construct a Power-to-Methanol demonstration plant in Belgium. This project is vital for the country’s transition to alternative sources of energy and is expected to have an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes of sustainable methanol.
Belgium – Methanol is a versatile raw material with many uses in the chemical industry, apart from having many other industrial applications. As such it is essential as a primary material in the port of Antwerp which is home to the largest integrated energy and chemicals cluster in Europe. At the moment, however, methanol is obtained exclusively from fossil fuels. In the Power-to-Methanol process, by contrast, waste CO2 is collected and combined with sustainably produced hydrogen to form methanol. This project is a first for Belgium.
Antwerp Port Authority is teaming up with Engie, Fluxys, Indaver, Inovyn, Oiltanking and the Flemish Environmental Holding Company (Vlaamse Milieuholding, or VMH). The company with the formal name of ‘Power-to-Methanol Antwerp’ is a collaborative venture, with each partner playing its own specialist role. Together the partners are taking the preparatory steps to build the demo plant.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 on the Inovyn site on the Scheldelaan road with the plant due to be operational by the end of that year. With an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes of methanol, the plant will be able to meet a good part of the local demand. Further in the future, the methanol can also be used as a type of sustainable fuel, harnessing innovative technology to power tugs and even ordinary road transport. Each tonne of methanol produced avoids the same quantity of CO2 emissions.