Investment decision made on Europe’s largest e-methanol project


FlagshipONE is set to become Ørsted’s first commercial-scale Power-to-X facility, after the company announced it would be purchasing the remaining 55 per cent stake of the 50,000 tonnes per year e-methanol project.

Located in Örnsköldsvik in Northern Sweden, FlagshipONE is Europe’s largest green e-methanol facility. The e-methanol from FlagshipONE will be produced using renewable electricity and biogenic carbon dioxide captured from Hörneborgsverket, a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant in Örnsköldsvik which is operated by Övik Energi. In addition, FlagshipONE will use steam, process water, and cooling water from Hörneborgsverket, with excess heat from the production process delivered back to Övik Energi and integrated into their district heating supply.

FlagshipONE is expected to enter into operation in 2025, with the e-methanol it produces helping to decarbonise the world’s shipping industry. Global shipping accounts for around three per cent of global carbon emissions, and the sector is a focus area for Ørsted as the company expands its presence in Power-to-X across Northern Europe and the United States.

FlagshipONE is the first e-methanol project in Ørsted’s green fuels pipeline; the company is also developing the 300,000 tonne ‘Project Star’ in the US Gulf Coast area and the ‘Green Fuels for Denmark’ project in Copenhagen, which will both produce significant volumes of e-methanol to enable the decarbonisation of shipping.

Today, green fuels for shipping come at a price premium compared to fossil-based alternatives, and the industry needs supportive regulation to incentivise demand and to drive the maturation of green fuels at scale and at speed. Until this regulation materialises, pricing of e-methanol is subject to substantial uncertainties – and large-scale offtake appetite is yet to develop.

Ørsted said that it is prepared to lead the development of the Power-to-X industry and assume risk in the process – including by advancing strategic projects like FlagshipONE – but regulatory action that matches the ambitions of developers and shipping companies are urgently needed. 

“Now more than ever, the world needs bold green energy projects to fight climate change, decarbonise hard-to-electrify sectors, and secure regional energy independence,” said Mads Nipper, group president and CEO of Ørsted. “Ørsted is determined to lead the green transformation of society, and that’s exactly what we are doing by constructing projects like FlagshipONE. E-methanol is the best solution currently available to decarbonise hard-to-electrify sectors like global shipping, and with this first commercial-scale project, Ørsted will break first ground in advancing our industry-leading pipeline of e-methanol projects.”

“The final investment decision on FlagshipONE proves our intention to take proactive investment decisions in order to drive the rapid maturation of the Power-to-X market beyond ambitions and announcements and into the delivery of molecules to abate well-to-wake emissions,” commented Olivia Breese, CEO of Ørsted Power-to-X. “Our first offshore wind projects came with significant risk, but we saw a route to leveraging our capabilities to deliver that technology as a cornerstone in the green transformation. Today, Power-to-X is at a similar inflection point – and at Ørsted, we are once again ready to assume risk and lead the maturation of this crucial technology. However, the Power-to-X industry urgently needs supportive frameworks that enable the transition away from fossil fuels, and we call on policymakers to take action to match the climate ambitions of developers and shipping companies.”

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