COPENHAGEN, April 20 (Reuters) – Toymaker LEGO said on Thursday it had agreed to buy e-methanol, a lower-carbon alternative to conventional plastic ingredients, for use in its colorful plastic bricks when the world’s first large-scale plant starts operations next year.
Privately owned renewable energy firm European Energy, which is developing the plant in Aabenraa, Denmark, said Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) will also buy its e-methanol to substitute fossil-based plastic in insulin pens and other medical devices.
The plant will begin producing 32,000 tonnes of e-methanol per year from next year, based on energy from wind and solar plants as well as biogenic carbon dioxide.
Shipping company Maersk, which has 19 vessels on order that can sail on methanol, last year agreed to purchase half of capacity at the plant.
LEGO, which will explore using e-methanol in some types of its building bricks and aims to bring new prototype bricks to the market in the future, announced in June 2021 plans to start using recycled materials from plastic bottles for its products.
Around 100 million tonnes of methanol is currently produced from fossil fuels each year, of which roughly two-thirds are used in the chemical industry, and the rest in transportation, according to European Energy.
Novo and LEGO did not specify the volumes they would purchase from the plant.