Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk has invested in Vertoro – a Dutch start-up focused on developing liquid lignin technology which can be used as a marine fuel. Maersk’s investment will be used to further develop and commercialise Vertoro’s patented liquid lignin technology, and it will enable Vertoro to build a demo plant, which will become operational in 2022. The output of this plant will be used to develop marine fuels in partnership with Maersk as well as other applications for the materials and chemicals markets.
The minority investment supports A.P. Moller – Maersk’s work to decarbonise marine operations. Maersk expects several fuel types to exist alongside each other in the future and has identified four potential fuel pathways to decarbonisation: biodiesel, alcohols, ammonia, and lignin-enhanced alcohols. Lignin is a class of complex organic polymers which form key structural materials in the support tissues of most plants.
Maersk said lignin fuels have a promising potential when it comes to decarbonising shipping. “We consider Vertoro to be a leading start-up in the sustainable biomass-to-liquids space and we are excited to invest in the company and become part of the efforts to effectively scale up production of green fuels. Furthermore, we believe that we can offer value beyond capital through the expertise and scale of the broader Maersk organisation,” said Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Partner at Maersk Growth.