Tanker owner reveals how analyst helped forge methanol-to-hydrogen alliance
Sometimes it really is who you know, not what you know. Although in the case of Ardmore Shipping’s methanol-to-hydrogen joint venture e1 Marine, it was probably a bit of both.
Two years ago, the Ireland-based product tanker owner was “scratching its head” as it pondered the implications of clean technology for shipping.
So it turned to former Wells Fargo shipping analyst Mike Webber, now the head of Webber Research & Advisory.
Ardmore chief executive Anthony Gurnee says: “I always like to say Mike has the ability to see around corners. When he left Wells Fargo he got very involved in clean technology.”
As the shipowner developed its energy transition plan, it was relying on Webber for research and advice, and eventually engaged him to help identify partnerships, which led to Dave Edlund’s US technology company, Element 1.
Edlund says: “We had engaged with Mike in order to find strong partners in the heavy-duty transportation space at about the same time Mike and Ardmore were talking about clean-energy technology. Part of it was talking to the right people and asking the right questions, and part of it was good timing.”
A first demonstration by e1 Marine is due this year.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of interest coming in and several prospects that look quite serious at this point,” Edlund says.