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OCI Global doubles capacity as shipping industry seeks green methanol

FILE PHOTO: Construction site of OCI Global's plant in Beaumont, Texas

By Johannes Birkebaek

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - OCI Global the world's biggest producer of green methanol, plans to double the production capacity at its Texas facility to 400,000 metric tons per year, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The Dutch green fuel-maker grows its capacity in response to a huge demand for green methanol from carbon emission-high industries like shipping, an industry responsible for around 3% of global emissions each year.

"We continue to see more and more realisation that methanol is the transportation sector's most viable solution and the easiest way to transport and use renewable hydrogen today," Bashir Lebada, CEO of OCI Methanol/HyFuels said in a statement.

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Green methanol is produced either from biomass or captured carbon and hydrogen from renewable power sources.

Demand for green methanol will exceed 6 million tonnes by 2028, OCI projects, due to the adoption of green methanol as a shipping fuel.

Sailing on green methanol can reduce carbon emissions from container vessels by 60% to 95% compared to conventional fossil fuels.

The number of methanol-fuelled vessels is expected to exceed 200 by 2028, up from 30 this year, consultancy DNV forecasts as the shipping industry hopes to achieve a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

OCI supplied green methanol for the maiden journey of the first-ever Maersk-owned green methanol-fuelled container vessel sailing from South Korea to Denmark via the Suez Canal this summer.

(Reporting by Johannes Birkebaek; editing by David Evans)