Article by ProcessWest
April 26, 2022 Don Horne
Purpose ESG Holdings Inc. and Calgary, Alta.’s Nauticol Energy Ltd. is on track to becoming the world’s first large-scale net zero methanol producer in the world.
“We have made significant progress securing regulatory permits and agreements for commercialization, along with earning consistent support from indigenous communities and investors,” said Mark Tonner, CEO of Nauticol. “We plan to commence construction of the first plant this year and begin production in 2026 with initial capacity to produce 1.7 million tonnes of net-zero methanol annually.”
Methanol is a clear, odourless liquid that is water-soluble and biodegradable. More than 99 per cent of global methanol is produced from coal and natural gas with unabated CO2 emissions. Nauticol’s net-zero methanol will be produced with integrated carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to permanently store CO2 emissions deep underground.
Nauticol has also secured transportation deals with TC Energy and CN Rail, as well as Port access via Prince Rupert, B.C. It has also secured offtake agreements with two investment grade offtakers for 80 per cent of its product and to provide access to burgeoning Pacific markets.
“Nauticol’s first project is competitively positioned adjacent to abundant natural gas feedstock and vast underground deposits of natural gas in Grand Prairie, Alberta,” said Young Bann, CEO of Purpose ESG. “Methanol can be used as an alternative to conventional transportation fuels and is particularly popular in the marine transport industry. It has not previously been proactively adopted due to heavy pollution caused by conventional coal-based production.”
In 2020, the Maritime Safety Committee approved the long-awaited formal adoption of the use of methanol as a marine fuel providing a genuine alternative for a low-carbon fuel to meet 2030 maritime compliance requirements and beyond.
Compared with conventional marine fuels, methanol has proven superior performance across emissions categories including up to 80 per cent lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions along with the elimination of sulfur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Methanol offers significant reductions in CO2 emissions relative to traditional marine fuels where up to 95 per cent can be achieved with renewable feedstocks.
With the rising adoption of methanol as a marine fuel and the growth development of other markets such as hydrogen carriers, the methanol market is expected to grow from US$24 billion in 2020 to US$66 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 5.5 per cent during the forecast period.