Carbon Recycling International's (CRI) methanol production plant in Svartsengi will increase in capacity by three fold in a few weeks, reports the National Broadcasting Service (RUV). The State Planning Agency has approved the Environmental Impact Assessment and greenlighted commissioning of the plant. CRI's Director of Business Development says that the expansion is an important step in the development of the company.
The methanol production plant started production three years ago. The feedstock for the production is carbon dioxide emitted by the adjacent HS Orka geothermal power plant and hydrogen obtained by water electrolysis. The two gases are combined to make methanol, which is used for the production of biodiesel and as blend-component of gasoline. The State Planning Agency accepted CRI's Environmental Impact Assessment plan for the expansion of the methanol plant, with only minor remarks.
Benedikt Stefansson, CRI's Director of Business Development says the expansion is an important milestone and takes the plant up to the full planned capacity.
'The production capacity of the methanol plant has until now been 1300 metric tons per year. We can now increase output by a factor of three. Production should start in a few weeks time," he remarked.
Full production capacity of the plant will therefore increase to 4000 tons per year. Benedikt says that the fuel is sold both domestically and abroad and he hopes that that sales will increase significantly this year. The production of renewable methanol at Svartsengi increases the availability of domestic fuel, which is useful for the biodiesel industry and others.
'We can also use this domestically produced fuel to blend with gasoline,' Benedikt says. 'Other types of fuel mixed with gasoline are normally produced from corn or wheat, but we only need carbon dioxide which otherwise would be released into the atmosphere and electrical power to produce hydrogen.'
He adds that the company has the option to build another plant next to the existing facility, which could produce up to forty thousand tons of methanol per year. A decision to build this new plant rests on how market conditions continue to evolve.