"We are very optimistic about the project. We have been working with foreign partners who have tested this technology, so we see no major obstacles" Benedikt Stefánsson, Manager of Business Development, replied when asked if production would become a reality. He adds: "Even though various practical issues such as the location of the plant, licensing agreements and such are not fully determined, everything looks great''. CRI already operates a plant producing renewable methanol in Svartsengi and a laboratory in Höfðabakki.
"If everything goes as planned this will be a new plant rather than an expansion of the plant in Svartsengi. There is more that needs to be taken into account as the production volume is such that we want to be close to a port and have easier access to distribution routes around the city,'' Benedikt says.
According to Benedikt, producing significant amounts of methanol in Iceland is a real possibility and the aim is to produce up to 50million liters annually. "Our method in Svartsengi uses electrolysis and 200 mega watts of electricity potentially producing more than 200 million liters,'' Benedikt says. According to him, the car population of Iceland uses around 350million liters of fuel annually, of which 200 million liters is gasoline and 150 million liters is diesel. Each car that uses gasoline can use a small portion of methanol blended with gasoline, but Benedikt hopes that the production will lead to increased imports of FFV's (flexible-fuel vehicles) which can use a higher proportion of methanol blend than conventional gasoline cars. "These FFV´s are certified to run on a mixture of up to 85% alchohol and 15% gasoline,'' Benedikt replies when asked how FFV´s work.