The European Union Innovation Fund has selected Project Air, a unique production facility for sustainable methanol in Stenungsund, Sweden, as one of 17 large-scale green tech projects to be granted more than €1.8 billion in total funding.
Project Air, which is a collaboration between Perstorp, Fortum and Uniper, applied for €97 million and the total investment is expected to amount to more than €230 million. A chemical recycling project of Neste was also awarded funding of €135 million.
Project Air is based on innovative usage of existing technology in a large-scale industrial application. To produce sustainable methanol, the facility utilizes significant amounts of CO2 and other residue streams recovered from Perstorp’s ongoing operations, biogas from new dedicated plants together with hydrogen from a large new electrolysis plant. Further, existing wastewater treatment will be utilized as feed water for the electrolysis. All electrical energy for the combined project will be renewable based. The ambition is to start up large-scale production by 2026.
Project Air will be deployed at Perstorp’s existing facilities in Stenungsund, strengthening the regional chemicals industry cluster known as Hållbar Kemi 2030. The sustainable methanol from Project Air will be used to produce chemicals, which in turn are used in a variety of applications in several industries. The project is ultimately about making thousands of end-products more sustainable, from mobile screens and paints to fabrics.
Project Air is reportedly a game-changer for the chemical industry, moving from fossil raw materials to recycled and bio-based feedstock, thereby enabling sustainable chemical products to a large variety of industries and end products. At full capacity, it will reduce global CO2 emissions by close to 500,000 tonnes, corresponding to a one per-cent of current emissions in Sweden.
“The Innovation Fund’s decision shows that Project Air is an important future investment for the climate. This is a crucial decision for Perstorp, our customers and partners, as it creates increased availability of sustainable chemical products throughout our value chains. The chemical industry needs the carbons, but it must be non-fossil carbons and they must be put into circular flows, so we get rid of CO2 in the atmosphere,” said Perstorp President and CEO Jan Secher. “I am proud to be the leader of a company that has the ability to drive such an industry leading transformation project.”