Maersk invests in Buffet-backed startup WasteFuel


Danish shipping company Maesrk has made an undisclosed investment in California-based renewable fuel startup, WasteFuel which focuses on turning waste into sustainable aviation fuel, green bio-methanol, and renewable natural gas. Use of bio-methanol in fuelling superyachts and other marine vessels is increasing as efforts to decarbonise pick up.

Maersk says its invest will allow WasteFuel to develop biorefineries and “produce sustainable fuels from unrecoverable waste that would otherwise degrade.”

Maersk’s investment is being made through its corporate venture arm, Maersk Growth. Morten Bo Christiansen, Maersk, head of decarbonisation, is to join WasteFuel’s board as part of the deal. “We know that sourcing an adequate amount of green fuel for our methanol fuelled vessels will be very challenging, as it requires a significant production ramp up globally,” he said. “Collaboration and partnerships are key to scaling the production and distribution of sustainable fuels.”

In February it was announced that business aviation operator NetJets, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, had “made a significant investment” in WasteFuel.

At the time, NetJets said it had made a commitment to buy a minimum of 100m gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from WasteFuel across the coming decade.

WasteFuel is also developing projects in Asia and the Americas including a biorefinery in Manila, Philippines, to produce low-carbon fuels.

Trevor Neilson, co-founder, chairman and CEO of WasteFuel, said: “We launched to solve two problems: the waste crisis that affects millions of peoples’ lives globally and the growing demand for low-carbon fuels that can reduce overall emissions. We’re proud to have partnered with Maersk to usher in an era of more environmentally conscious sea transport. Our goal is for WasteFuel to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 90% compared to fossil fuels”