NEFCO confirms interest to invest in CRI

The Board of Directors of the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) has confirmed its interest in investing in the Icelandic innovation company Carbon Recycling International (CRI). The decision by the board gives NEFCO the mandate to negotiate a potential investment of up to EUR 2 million which is part of a larger financing round to fund CRI’s first commercial scale project in China based on CO2-to-methanol conversion technology developed by CRI. This constitutes the first approved project within NEFCO’s new global mandate.

CRI expects to build up to 30 CO2-to-methanol production plants in China by 2030, based on the utilisation of hydrogen from industrial byproducts and electricity from wind and PV solar generation. These plants will eliminate up to 6 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. CRI’s technology can be retrofitted with existing industrial installations, taking advantage of byproduct gas as well as wind and solar sources, to capture and utilize emitted CO2.
The current market for methanol in China is estimated at over USD 19 billion and is forecasted to grow at 10% annually. The largest consumers of methanol in China are producers of plastics and other synthetic materials. Switching from fossil methanol to CRI’s green methanol feedstock allows these manufacturers to utilize the same assets to create materials which reduce CO2 emissions.

The fastest growing segment of methanol use is clean-burning fuel for both automotive and stationary applications. Use of methanol as a fuel has the potential to eliminate toxic air pollution from road transport and marine vessels. With CRI technology the production and use of methanol as a fuel also adds no net CO2 to the atmosphere.
“We look forward to collaborating with NEFCO on intensifying our efforts to realise projects based on CRI’s Nordic clean technology in China,” says Sindri Sindrason Chief Executive of CRI. “Improving air quality and reducing the threat of climate change are among the most important challenges of our era. Prospects for our technology are virtually unlimited and we are now even better positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the Chinese market in the near-term.”

“We are very pleased that CRI, with its unique and innovative technology, is our first approved project within NEFCO’s new global mandate. We await good cooperation with CRI and its strong partners in China in developing and building the first CO2-to-methanol plant, which creates large environmental benefits,” says Senior Financial Manager Thorhallur Thorsteinsson at NEFCO.

NEFCO - the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation is an International Financial Institution established by the Nordic Governments in 1990 with headquarters in Helsinki, Finland. NEFCO’s primary focus is on results-based green financing, in particular Nordic solutions developed by small and medium sized enterprises, with the potential to reduce emissions harmful to the environment and with a scale-up potential.