Canada-based Methanex is making an initial $5 million investment in Carbon Recycling International (CRI), a privately-held company with headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland, the company said on Tuesday.
CRI operates the world's first renewable methanol plant in Iceland, which utilizes its emissions-to-liquids (ETL) technology to convert renewable energy and recycled CO2 emissions to renewable methanol. As a result of this investment, Methanex will become a key shareholder of CRI, with board representation.
"The fastest growing markets for methanol are in the energy sector, and we believe renewable methanol will play an important role in future applications," said John Floren, CEO of Methanex. "The CRI team has demonstrated the ability to develop this technology, operate a production plant and successfully market renewable methanol, which further reinforces the value of this investment."
The companies said they hope to expand the use of methanol-blended fuels in Europe, with Methanex also considering further investments to support CRI's growth.
"Based on our experience of building and operating the first emission-to-liquids fuel plant in Iceland and the increasing worldwide demand for ultra-low carbon automotive fuels, CRI is well positioned to grow larger production plants based on our relationship with providers of Icelandic hydro and geothermal energy," said KC Tran, chief executive of CRI.
"Methanex's investment is a validation of our approach and will strengthen our ability to execute our growth plan successfully," he added.
CRI markets its renewable methanol in Europe, under the registered brand name Vulcanol, where it is blended with gasoline and used for production of biodiesel. Vulcanol is certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system (ISCC) as an ultra-low carbon advanced renewable transport fuel with no biogenic footprint.
Methanex and CRI said they intend to collaborate on large-scale projects based on CRI's ETL technology. They plan to leverage Methanex's operational experience and global reach with CRI's unique expertise in the production of ultra-low carbon renewable methanol.