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ECONOMY

85,000 jobs to be created as Maersk plans green fuel production in Spain

Global shipping giant Maersk has signed an agreement with the Spanish government to develop large-scale production of green fuel in Spain for its worldwide fleet, a project which will create 85,000 jobs.

SPAIN MAERSK
Spain was picked because it has "significant renewable resources and is placed along key shipping routes," he added. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

The methanol project, which will involve private partners and European Union funding, will see an investment of nearly €10 billion ($9.75 billion), a government statement said.

Two production sites will be built in Spain expected to create 85,000 direct and indirect jobs.

One will be in the northwestern Galicia region, the other in Andalusia in the south.

The project could produce up to two million tonnes of green fuels per year, Maersk said in a statement.

“We are living in a climate emergency, and we need to rapidly accelerate the availability of green future fuels,” Maersk chief executive officer Soren Skou said.

Spain was picked because it has “significant renewable resources and is placed along key shipping routes,” he added.

The project will help the Danish company, the world’s second-largest container shipping firm, to achieve its goal of producing net zero emissions by 2040.

Maersk plans to make green methanol, which is produced by using renewable sources such as biomass and solar energy, at several sites around the world, including Egypt.

The agreement to produce green methanol in Spain was signed in Madrid by Skou and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

“Spain wants to lead the decarbonisation of maritime transport and be one of the most important green corridors of world maritime traffic,” Sánchez tweeted.

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ENERGY

‘It’s a joke’: Spain slams EU gas price cap

The Spanish government on Wednesday lambasted the European Commission's proposed price cap on wholesale natural gas, set so high that critics have questioned if it would ever be used.

'It's a joke': Spain slams EU gas price cap

The EU executive on Tuesday unveiled a gas “safety ceiling” of €275 per megawatt hour as the bloc grapples with high energy prices spurred by Moscow’s war in Ukraine and supply cuts.

But the conditions meant the cap would only kick in when EU gas prices breach that threshold for two weeks running, calculated on advance purchases through the bloc’s main gas price benchmark, TTF.

The cap was also contingent on the TTF price for liquefied natural gas – an easily transportable form of gas that can be shipped worldwide — exceeding €58 for 10 days within that same two-week period.

The only time the TTF gas price has gone above the €275 limit was between August 22nd and 29th this year.

It was running at around €120 in trading on Tuesday.

Spanish ecological transition minister Teresa Ribera called the commission’s proposal a “joke”, saying it would cause steeper price hikes and hamper efforts to tame decades-high inflation.

The French energy transition ministry criticised an “insufficient” scheme that “does not respond to the reality of the market”.

“The commission must propose an operational text, not simply a text that is political grandstanding and may have negative or no effects,” it said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has also expressed his opposition to the plan, with Ribera saying most EU members were against it as the bloc’s energy ministers prepare to meet on Thursday.

Spain could stop supporting other proposals on matters important to the commission if another “serious” text is not forthcoming, Ribera added.

A commission spokeswoman said the mechanism was designed “to anticipate and prevent this situation happening in the future”, but admitted even August’s price spike would not have triggered it.

The cap, if adopted, would come into force in January and came after months of wrangling between EU countries.

It runs alongside a plan by member states to voluntarily cut natural gas use by 15 percent over the northern hemisphere winter.

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