DCC plc, an international sales, marketing and support services group, has partnered with Oberon Fuels, a producer of renewable dimethyl ether (DME), to advance the design, construction and operations of multiple renewable DME production plants in Europe.
The companies have completed an initial feasibility study, which confirmed significant market demand for a renewable substitute for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Both companies will now further investigate sustainable and scalable supply chains of renewable feedstocks, as well as advantageous locations for production plants. Once adequate feedstocks and appropriate sites have been established, Oberon will construct and operate the renewable DME production facilities and DCC Energy will commit to buying Oberon’s renewable DME as an offtake partner.
DCC Energy will lead with energy by supplying its customers with significant volumes of renewable DME to help them to decarbonize. DME blended with LPG can be used in existing residential, commercial and industrial applications without any need for investment. After minor modifications to infrastructure, pure renewable DME is a drop-in energy source for existing applications.
DME is stored, transported and dispensed using existing LPG vehicles and equipment which makes it quick to deploy, efficient and cost-effective. It reduces carbon emissions immediately, which is of vital importance to off (natural gas) grid customers.
Leveraging that same LPG infrastructure, Oberon Fuels could meet the growing demand for renewable hydrogen by converting renewable DME into renewable hydrogen with its proprietary DME-to-hydrogen reformer technology. DCC Energy could use its existing LPG tanks, trucks and workforce to move renewable hydrogen in the future.
The efficiencies here are compelling, as a single DME trailer carries the same amount of hydrogen as three hydrogen tube trailers. A DME trailer also costs 80% less than a typical hydrogen trailer.
“Oberon and DCC are committed to ensuring that Europe has access to sustainable and scalable forms of clean energy and fuel,” said Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., Oberon Fuels president and CEO. “Our experience in developing renewable DME plants and selling commercial-grade fuel combined with DCC’s scale, distribution infrastructure and 9 million energy customers will enable both parties to reduce emissions, increase employment, and diversify the regional energy portfolio.”
Fabian Ziegler, DCC Energy’s CEO, said “DCC Energy is accelerating the decarbonization journey of our customers by leading the sales, marketing and distribution of low carbon energy solutions. This is an important new long-term partnership with Oberon. We are securing supply of an innovative renewable gas, which we will drop in to our customers’ existing infrastructure.”