As the home of a number of the leading clean technology companies, Denmark holds a unique position in the world when it comes to using biomass to produce bioethanol for land transportation.
In alliance with the significant Danish shipping industry, including the world’s largest shipping company, A.P. Moller - Maersk, Denmark is now taking a natural step beyond land transportation and starting a project to repower the maritime sector with biofuels.

Ships to sail on sustainable biofuel
Advanced biofuels are now to repower the maritime sector too. The newly established alliance will work on converting biomass into sugar and on into biofuels that can be utilized in the maritime sector, offering an alternative to expensive and polluting fossil fuels.
“We've been working to develop the biotechnological solutions that enable biomass to be converted into sugar and sustainable bioethanol for land transportation for many years, and now this technology is ready to be deployed and improving every day. It's therefore natural for us to contribute our knowledge to this new project, which aims to get the world’s ships sailing on other biofuels produced from biomass,” says Lars Hansen, Vice President of Region Europe at Novozymes.

The maritime sector accounts for approximately 10% of global transport energy consumption. Maritime transportation represents global man-made CO2 emissions equivalent to the carbon footprint of a country such as Germany. 
Alongside Novozymes, other participants in the project include DTU (the Technical University of Denmark), Haldor Topsøe, MAN Diesel & Turbo, DONG Energy, and A.P. Møller - Maersk.
The project is to be headed by Professor Claus Felby of the University of Copenhagen, and each of the companies will provide their specific expertise. The Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation will contribute DKK 56.3 million in funding, with the other participants providing the remaining resources.
The program is set to run for five years from 2012. “It's a long-term research and development project,” Lars Hansen states.
Repowering the transport sector – Now
Some months ago the World Economic Forum published a report entitled “Repowering Transport.” Lars Hansen says:
“When we discuss how to confront the transport sector’s challenges of the 21st century, we need to stop debating every new technology that is waiting just around the corner, somewhere out there.
“We need to stop talking about distant technological fata morganas and look at what viable and proven opportunities already exist – one of which, as the report suggests, is biofuels. Readjusting our focus is key to not missing out on the technologies that can already start delivering greener solutions today,” Lars Hansen says, and concludes:
“Using biotechnology to convert biomass into biofuel for the maritime sector is an option  that it makes sense to work with today.”
  • Download the full report ""Repowering Transport" from the WEF site.
  • Novozymes release on repowering the transport sector here.