This article looks into the recently announced partnership between several Danish companies to create breakthrough sustainable fuels.


I have written about partnerships before as they are a very important tool for helping to make sustainability a reality.  Back in 2018 the NextGen Cup Consortium stood out for its ambition. Likewise, the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 17, which is Partnerships for the Goals is for me the enabler that will make achieving all the other goals possible.

The businesses involved in this exciting initiative include the following. I have included the exact industry that each company specialises in, in case my readers are not familiar with exactly what each company does.

  • Copenhagen Airports – Airport operator

  • P. Moller – Maersk – Integrated shipping company

  • DSV Panalpina – Transport and logistics

  • DFDS – Shipping and logistics

  • SAS – Airline

  • Ørsted – Multinational power company

The aim of the partnership, is to create an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport in the Copenhagen area.

The project’s first stage, which aims to be operational by 2023, is comprised of a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel buses and trucks.

The second stage is comprised of a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027, when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered.

This is when the industrial ecology of the partnership really kicks in. In the second stage, the production of renewable hydrogen is combined with sustainable carbon capture from point-sources in the Greater Copenhagen area to produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel (e-kerosene) for the aviation sector.

Then later on in stage three the project is developed further. In stage three, which aims to be operational by 2030 when the offshore wind potential at Bornholm is fully developed, this would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW and enable the capture of more CO2. This could supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels, which could be used in buses, trucks, maritime vessels and in aviation.

What you need to know

I think this is a really exciting partnership and I hope it is the catalyst to encourage other businesses around the word to develop partnerships to think and act big on sustainability.

There are two caveats that I think it is important to mention. One is that the whole initiative is still the subject of a feasibility review and no investment decisions have yet been taken.

The second thing that could limit the impact of the initiative is born out of the fact that by its very nature, this initiative is focussed on the Copenhagen area. This is not a problem for providing sustainable fuels for busses and heavy goods vehicles.

But by providing sustainable fuels at airports and sea ports in the Copenhagen area, these vessels will only be able to make a 1-way journey on low carbon fuel. What is required is a network of similar schemes in other parts of the world to make aviation and shipping dramatically more sustainable than they are right now.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to encourage more partnerships for sustainability?

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I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

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