The Houston, Texas-based firm, SunGas Renewables Inc., has announced the formation of Beaver Lake Renewable Energy, LLC (BLRE), which will repurpose and redevelop an abandoned 1300-acre International Paper mill into a green methanol production facility to help economically revitalize central Louisiana.
Green methanol produced by BLRE is expected to be used to fuel A.P. Moller – Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels and will utilize wood fiber from local, sustainably-managed forests.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of SunGas Renewables, BLRE is expected to generate from the facility nearly 400,000 metric tons of green methanol per year for marine fuel while creating more than 1150 jobs during construction and more than 100 local jobs during operation.
“As the only state in the Gulf South with a climate action plan, Louisiana is a global leader in the energy transition, and companies like SunGas Renewables have taken notice,” Governor John Bel Edwards said.
“I applaud SunGas Renewables for pursuing this massive investment that would create quality, high-paying jobs in central Louisiana for our talented workers. If it moves forward, this project will be another milestone in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy. The state will continue to support the company’s efforts to bring it to completion,” he added.
The methanol will have a negative carbon intensity through sequestration of nearly a million tons per year of carbon dioxide produced by the project, which will be executed by Denbury Carbon Solutions.
Emma Mazhari, Head of Energy Markets at Maersk, said, “A.P. Moller – Maersk is excited to be partnering with SunGas Renewables, which is pioneering a truly large-scale pathway to green methanol with its Beaver Lake Renewable Energy facility. We would like to thank SunGas Renewables for showing great leadership and for its commitment to the green transition of energy. This is helping Maersk to deliver valuable services to our customers and is aligned with our aim to reach net zero greenhouse emissions by 2040. Together, as pioneers in the field, SunGas and Maersk are driving a much-needed transition in a heavy pollution industry. We hope that work can be accelerated further in the years to come.”
SunGas Renewables anticipates BLRE will invest approximately $2 billion to construct the project at the former International Paper facility in Rapides Parish. The BLRE facility is expected to begin construction in late 2024 with commercial operations commencing in 2027.
“Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. This new low-carbon marine fuel facility also helps strengthen communities and create sustainable economies right here in Rapides Parish, Louisiana,” said Robert Rigdon, CEO of SunGas Renewables.
“As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the State of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world,” he continued.
In late 2022, SunGas Renewables announced a strategic green methanol partnership with Denmark-based Maersk, the world’s second largest container shipping company, to produce green methanol from multiple facilities around the country.
Maersk is a leader in decarbonizing marine shipping by using green methanol to fuel its new and growing fleet of methanol powered container vessels. The BLRE project is SunGas Renewable’s first facility to produce green methanol for Maersk.
SunGas Renewables chose Central Louisiana for the BLRE project due to its long history of sustainably managed forests, available infrastructure to support the facility, and strong local and state support.
SunGas Renewables, a spin-out of GTI Energy, is taking a leading role in decarbonization through providing its System 1000 renewable syngas product to third parties for renewable hydrogen and biofuels production while also developing and investing in low-carbon biofuels businesses.
The SunGas Renewables System 1000 contains pressurized fluidized bed gasification technology, originally developed by GTI Energy, integrated with other large-scale proven commercial technologies to provide an optimized and reliable green syngas manufacturing platform for production of green methanol for marine fuel, renewable natural gas, green hydrogen and other renewable biofuels from sustainably sourced biomass and wood fiber.
Image courtesy of Maersk.