Maersk invests in California green fuels start-up

Written by Nick Blenkey
WasteFuel worker

WasteFuel converts municipal trash and agricultural waste into low-carbon fuels, renewable natural gas, and green methanol. [Image: Maersk]

Having committed to building a new generation of methanol-fueled containerships, A.P. Moller – Maersk is taking steps to secure the e-methanol on which those ships will operate. Today it announced that its corporate venture arm, Maersk Growth has made an investment in Los Angeles, Calif., based WasteFuel. As its name implies, WasteFuel is a start-up focused on turning waste into sustainable aviation fuel, green bio-methanol, and renewable natural gas.

Maersk says its investment will enable WasteFuel to develop biorefineries that utilise the most effective technologies available to produce sustainable fuels from unrecoverable waste that would otherwise degrade, and release methane and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Maersk is confident that green bio-methanol is one of the promising fuels of the future as it can be scaled up and play an important role in decarbonizing supply chains within the next 10-15 years.

“We know that sourcing an adequate amount of green fuel for our methanol fueled vessels will be very challenging, as it requires a significant production ramp up globally,” says Morten Bo Christiansen, vice president and head of decarbonization, A.P. Moller – Maersk. “Collaboration and partnerships are key to scaling the production and distribution of sustainable fuels, and we look forward to doing exactly that with WasteFuel; exploring potential future green solutions not just for our vessels, but also for Maersk aviation and trucking activities.”

WasteFuel is also developing projects in Asia and the Americas including a biorefinery in Manila, Philippines, to produce low-carbon fuels. The company has announced an offtake agreement with NetJets – the world’s largest private jet company owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

“WasteFuel was launched to solve two problems: the waste crisis that affects millions of peoples’ lives globally and the growing demand for low-carbon fuels that can reduce overall emissions,” says WasteFuel’s co-founderm chairman and CEO Trevor Nelson. “We’re proud to have partnered with Maersk to usher in an era of more environmentally conscious sea transport. Our goal is for WasteFuel to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 90% compared to fossil fuels.”

Maersk’s investment in WasteFuel comes three weeks after the company reported it had identified its partners to produce green fuel for its first vessel to operate on carbon neutral methanol: REintegrate, a subsidiary of the Danish renewable energy company European Energy.

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