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Maersk invests in electrofuels start-up

Maersk invests in electrofuels start-up
Maersk is backing a four-pronged approach to decarbonisation

Maersk has made a minority investment in Prometheus Fuels, a Silicon Valley-based start-up, which is a developing direct air capture technology to enable cost efficient, carbon neutral eFuels for shipping.

The carrier expects several fuels to co-exist in the future fuel mix and has identified four potential fuel pathways to decarbonisation; biodiesel, alcohols, lignin-enhanced alcohols and ammonia.

The Danish company noted that the investment supports its efforts with electrofuels, which include alcohols produced from renewable energy. Along with biodiesel, alcohols including green methanol are feasible fuel technologies already today.

Morten Bo Christiansen, head of decarbonisation at AP Moller – Maersk, said: “Prometheus Fuels is developing a very exciting and innovative technology to produce carbon based electrofuels from direct air capture of CO2.

“Electrofuels are expected to play a key role for the decarbonisation of shipping and, if scaled successfully, Prometheus Fuels’ technology will address a key constraint for carbon based electrofuels – namely the cost competitiveness of direct air capture.”

Maersk expects synthetic alcohols and other electrofuels to play a big role in the decarbonisation of shipping, due to their long-term scalability advantages compared to biobased fuels.

Produced from renewable energy and water and ambient CO2 from direct air capture, they have the potential to offer infinite availability regardless of geographic scope.

Rob McGinnis, founder and CEO of Prometheus Fuels, stated: “Our zero net carbon, zero sulphur electrofuel doesn’t compete with food production – it comes from renewable electricity and air so its feedstock is limitless.

“Our electrofuel offers a truly viable solution to decarbonise shipping – one that can scale and be implemented in time to avoid catastrophic global warming.”

Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, partner at Maersk Growth, who will join the Board of Prometheus Fuels, added: “Decarbonisation is a strategic imperative of Maersk, so investing in this space is a natural focus point for Maersk Growth and one where we can offer value beyond capital through the expertise and scale of the Maersk organization.

“Prometheus’ technology has disruptive potential for the green fuel market, and we look forward to contributing as well as learning from this partnership in the years to come.”