Zhejiang Geely (Geely Group) has announced plans to invest a total of US$45.5m in Carbon Recycling International (CRI), an Iceland-based company that specialises in the production of renewable methanol fuel.

The investment consists of an initial investment and additional purchases of CRI equity over a three-year period. Geely Group will become a major shareholder of CRI and will gain representation on the company's board of directors.

CRI was founded in 2006 in Reykjavik, Iceland and has become, it says, "the world leader in developing technology to produce renewable methanol fuel from clean energy and recycled CO2 emissions". It operates the world's first renewable methanol plant.

Geely Group and CRI intend to collaborate on the deployment of renewable methanol fuel production technology in China and explore the development and deployment of 100% methanol-fuelled vehicles in China, Iceland and other countries. The companies share a vision for a larger role for methanol as a clean and sustainable fuel in China, Europe and the world.

Li Shufu,Chairman of Geely Group said, "Geely is committed to achieving the long-term goal of zero emissions mobility through a diverse suite of new energy solutions, including renewable methanol vehicle technology. Geely Auto has invested significant resources in the development and promotion of methanol-fuelled engines and vehicles over a long period and has already made progress with this technology in China. This investment will build on our existing methanol technology, facilitating even more valuable solutions and helping to propel this part of our business in China. It will also allow us to promote advanced methanol technology in Europe. CRI have a proven track record in renewable methanol, working up and down the value chain. I'm excited to be working with them. This is an important symbol of Geely Group's global commitment to sustainability."

"It's a great pleasure to have Geely Group join our team of shareholders and board of directors.  Alongside their growing traditional automotive business, Geely Group is spearheading new energy technologies and vehicles as one of the important players that will shape the future of the automotive sector," said KC Tran, chief executive and co-founder of CRI. "Amid increasing global demand for low carbon intensity fuels, as the first company in the world to develop renewable methanol technology and operate a CO2-methanol plant, CRI is building a pipeline of projects with clients from the power, chemical and steel industries in Europe and China. Geely Group's investment represents another validation of our business model and efforts and will strengthen our ability to develop and promote methanol as a sustainable transport fuel."

CRI markets its renewable methanol in Europe, under the registered brand name Vulcanol, where it is blended with gasoline and used for production of biofuel.