Large-scale Power-to-X project in Copenhagen ready for the first phase with an expanded circle of partners

State of Green
By State of Green, August 26, 2020

Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Møller - Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted are ready for the first phase of the potentially 1.3 gigawatt (GW) large project for the production of sustainable fuels close to Copenhagen, Denmark. The partnership has matured the project and has submitted an application to investment fund Innovation Fund Denmark and at the same time expanded the circle of partners in the first phases of the project with companies Nel, Everfuel and Haldor Topsøe.

The partnership behind Denmark’s most ambitious project for the production of sustainable fuels for heavy transport, consisting of Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Møller – Mærsk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted, together with hydrogen companies Nel and Everfuel and technology company Haldor Topsøe, have submitted an application to investment fund Innovation Fund Denmark for a “large double-digit million kroner amount of money”.

The overall vision for the partnership is to build the project in three phases of 10 megawatts (MW), 250 MW and 1.3 GW, respectively. Together with a triple-digit million kroner investment from the private companies behind the project, the applied funding from Innovation Fund Denmark will be used to develop and build the project’s first phase of 10 MW electrolysis capacity and hydrogen distribution for heavy road transport and carry out the project development of the second phase, where the goal is to scale the plant to an industrial size of 250 MW. It is the partnership’s vision that the last two phases of 250 MW and 1.3 GW will be driven by offshore wind from a new offshore wind farm near the Danish island Bornholm, and that they will be ready in 2027 and 2030 respectively. The final timing of the last two phases depends on when the power can be delivered from Bornholm.

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COWI and BCG act as knowledge partners for the project, which is supported by The Capital Region of Denmark and the City of Copenhagen in line with the municipality’s ambitious policy for reducing CO2 emissions.

Maturing and expanding sustainable fuels

Today, sustainable fuels are more expensive to use than fossil fuels. In order to compete with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels must be matured and expanded on an industrial scale. If this is to be possible, it requires governments and industry to work together to create framework conditions that complement private investment in large-scale production of sustainable fuels in order to make the technology commercially mature.

The recent report from the Danish Climate Partnership for Energy and Utilities estimates that sustainable fuels in Denmark must contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 1.9 million tonnes to achieve the overall goal of reducing Danish CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030.

“Development and large-scale production of sustainable fuels are absolutely crucial if we are to succeed in a green transition of heavy transport”
– Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted

“Development and large-scale production of sustainable fuels are absolutely crucial if we are to succeed in a green transition of heavy transport. The private companies behind the project are ready to invest a lot of money in realising the project, but in the early development phase we also need for support if we are to be able to realise the project. A commitment from Innovation Fund Denmark for the project could be a decisive step forward for the production of hydrogen and sustainable fuels in Denmark,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted.

New partners on board

In connection with the application to Innovation Fund Denmark, the partner group has joined forces with Nel, Everfuel and Haldor Topsøe, all three of which are among the leaders in the production and distribution of sustainable fuels. The three companies will be partners in the first phase of the 10 MW project and in the development of the second phase of the project.

With the addition of the three new project partners, the project now covers the entire value chain for production and distribution of hydrogen and sustainable fuels, thus emphasising the stronghold that Denmark has within green technology. Through a focused effort from both the industry as well as political decision-makers and authorities, Denmark has the opportunity to build a leading position within Power-to-X and create a new industrial strength position that can create a considerable number of jobs and new business opportunities for Danish companies.

“By aiming big and ambitious, we can work together to make new green fuels competitive. At Everfuel, we are focused on making green hydrogen a 100% competitive alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Especially the heavier part of transport, such as trucks, buses and taxis, are the first areas where green hydrogen is now proving to be an attractive and scalable alternative to emissions fuels.The prospects for using hydrogen as a green fuel are significant, and we see the strong collaboration and synergies between the partners in the project as being absolutely essential,” said Jacob Krogsgaard, CEO, Everfuel.

“We are pleased to be part of such a strong consortium around the development of hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier and fuel. We have been developing and producing hydrogen filling stations since 2003, primarily for passenger cars, but are now in the process of scaling and expanding technology for heavy transport. The collaboration with the actors in the project as well as public contributions will be able to support these activities and at the same time accelerate the use of hydrogen for heavy transport,” said Jørn Rosenlund, Senior Vice President, Nel Hydrogen Fueling.

“If Denmark and the EU are to succeed with the ambitious goals for reducing CO2 emissions, it is crucial to be able to convert green electricity into green fuels that can be used in aircraft, ships and trucks. Haldor Topsøe can contribute with the necessary technology, “But it requires a consortium just like this to include users and infrastructure. Together, we can achieve a project that can prove to be landmark at the international level,” said Roeland Baan, CEO, Haldor Topsøe.

Hydrogen and other hydrogen-based fuels produced from green electricity are expected to replace large amounts of fossil fuels in heavy transport and industry in both Denmark and Europe. Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands have major Power-to-X projects underway, and also in Denmark support has been granted for a number of demonstration projects. The European Commission estimates that by 2050, 1,600 TWh will be used for Power-to-X, which corresponds to 75 per cent of Europe’s current electricity consumption.


Facts about the project

The partnership’s vision is to build the overall project in three phases by 2030. The first phase of 10 MW electrolysis capacity may be ready in 2023 and supply renewable hydrogen for heavy trucks and potentially also for buses. The second phase of the 250 MW project can be completed in 2027. This plant can combine the production of renewable hydrogen with the collection of sustainable CO2, so that sustainable fuels can be produced for shipping and aviation.

In the third phase, which may be ready in 2030, the electrolysis capacity of the project could potentially be 1.3 GW and supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels for use in buses, trucks, ships and aircraft. The project could potentially replace 5% of the fossil fuels used at Copenhagen Airport in 2027 and 30% in 2030.


Three of the project partners will be represented at State of Green’s GREEN TALK on 27 August, 2020: “Power-to-X: a key enabler of the green transition”. Sign up for the GREEN TALK here.



Ørsted (in Danish)

Photo by ALE SAT on Unsplash

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