Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind has signed an offtake deal with shipping company A.P Moller – Maersk for 500,000 tonnes a year of green methanol, with an undisclosed split between biomethanol and e-methanol produced using hydrogen.

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The volumes of methanol will be produced at a wind-powered facility in Hinggan League in Inner Mongolia to China’s northeast, on which Goldwind is due to take FID later this year. However, further details of this project remain murky, including the size of the upstream renewables capacity and whether the technologies required for biogenic and power-to-X methanol production will be integrated into the same complex.

“With this project, Goldwind will continue to explore the innovative application of new technologies, pursue the organic combination of green electricity and green fuel production, and optimise the production process of green methanol,” the company’s chairman Wu Gang said in a press statement.

He added that it would aim “to make green methanol one of the most important and economically feasible clean maritime fuels in the future”.

Neither the length of time nor price agreed in the deal have been disclosed.

However, Maersk’s chief infrastructure officer Rabab Raafat Boulos hinted: “We are encouraged by the agreement because its scale and price confirm our view that green methanol currently is the most viable low-emission solution for ocean shipping that can make a significant impact in this decade”.

“The deal is a testament to the momentum and vast efforts we see among ambitious developers driving projects forward across geographies, however, we still have a long way to go in ensuring a global green fuels market that can enable the decarbonisation of global shipping,” he added.

Maersk launched its first vessel capable of running on methanol, the Laura Maersk — a feeder ship with 2,100 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) of cargo capacity — earlier this year, and is currently set to receive its first ocean-going dual-fuel vessel with 16,000 TEU cargo capacity in Q1 2024.

In addition to this latest agreement with Goldwind, Maersk had signed an offtake deal with chemicals firm OCI for green methanol for Laura Maersk’s maiden voyage, with the latter confirming to Hydrogen Insight that these volumes would be biogenic rather than hydrogen-based due to a lack of supply chain for low-carbon H2.

Through subsidiary C2X, Maersk is also developing a green methanol project in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone, expected to cost $3bn.