Maersk has made a leading venture investment in Prometheus Fuels, a Silicon Valley-based startup with a direct air capture-technology to enable cost efficient, carbon neutral eFuels for shipping.
The minority investment in Prometheus Fuels will support Maersk’s work in decarbonising marine operations.
Maersk expects several fuels to exist alongside each other in the future fuel mix, and has identified four potential fuel pathways to decarbonisation; biodiesel, alcohols, lignin-enhanced alcohols and ammonia.
According to Maersk, 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 available.
“Prometheus Fuels is developing a very exciting and innovative technology to produce carbon-based electrofuels from direct air capture of CO2," said Morten Bo Christiansen, head of decarbonisation at AP Moller–Maersk. "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 said that it expected 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, it has the potential to offer infinite availability regardless of geographic scope, the group continued.
"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," said Rob McGinnis, founder and CEO of Prometheus Fuels. "Our electrofuel offers a truly viable solution to decarbonise shipping – one that can scale and be implemented in time to avoid catastrophic global warming. We’re excited to partner with Maersk, a global leader in decarbonisation in the transportation and shipping industries, to accelerate this transition."
“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 organisation," added Peter Votkjaer Jorgense, partner at Maersk Growth and set to join the board of Prometheus Fuels. "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.”