Sumitomo signs FEED agreement for Portugal biomass-to-methanol facility

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Sumitomo SHI FW (SFW) has signed an agreement with Capwatt to provide Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) services for a state-of-the-art syngas production plant, integral to the Mangualde Renewable Methanol project in Portugal.
This initiative aims to build a cutting-edge biorefinery capable of producing 80,000 tons of renewable methanol annually, utilising locally sourced biomass residues and renewable electricity from a nearby photovoltaic (PV) solar park.
The core of the plant will feature an advanced SFW gasification unit, designed to transform the carbon in biogenic residues into syngas.
This syngas will then be combined with green hydrogen from electrolysis in the methanol synthesis process.
SFW said that renewable methanol, a versatile platform chemical, is set to become a cornerstone of future carbon management solutions for both the transport and chemical industries.
Its applications are vast, from serving as sustainable shipping fuel to being converted into sustainable aviation fuel, plastics, and other essential chemicals, added the organisation.
"We are thrilled by Capwatt’s confidence in our gasification technology, a testament to over 40 years of dedicated development. SFW has proven this technology in biomass-to-liquids applications, and we eagerly anticipate supporting Capwatt in building the first industrial renewable methanol plant in Portugal," said Frank Ligthart, vice president of circular carbon at SFW.
"The commencement of the FEED marks a significant milestone towards our final investment decision. The Mangualde plant will produce enough renewable methanol to fuel two large container ships, highlighting the immense potential with 8 000 such ships globally. Capwatt's vision extends beyond this single project; we aim to establish a network of renewable methanol plants," said Jorge Matos, COO of Renewable Fuels at Capwatt.

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