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Grieg Star jumps to the front of the green ammonia queue with Wärtsilä

A Norwegian consortium has jumped to the head of the queue to build the world’s first green ammonia-fuelled tanker.

Grieg Edge, a subsidiary of Grieg Star, and Wärtsilä Norway announced today plans to get the greenhouse gas emissions free tanker built and in the water by 2024, having received funding from the Norwegian government.

The partners plan to have the MS Green Ammonia distribute green ammonia from a planned factory in Berlevåg to various locations and end-users along the coast. Concrete design, size, and volume are all elements that are dependant on the market and end-users. However, the project has already established LOIs with several heavyweight industrial partners.

“We see a strong interest from owners of ferries, offshore supply ships, fishing vessels, and from energy-producing companies. In total, they require an amount of energy surpassing what we can achieve in this project. The market is there without a doubt,” said chief business development officer in Grieg Star Group, Vidar Lundberg.

One prominent group of potential customers the partnership will target are owners of ships using LNG as a fuel today. Depending on the engine’s build, they may mix ammonia in their LNG fuel – or easily retrofit to use only ammonia.

“Norway, with its high number of vessels using LNG or alternative fuels, with high volumes of green energy, and the cheapest electrical power in Europe, is probably the perfect arena for the world’s first market for green ammonia,” Lundberg said.

In Asia, a keenly watched ammonia-fuelled aframax project in South Korea is also on track for a similar launch timeframe as the Norwegian project.

In September, British class society Lloyd’s Register (LR) granted approval in principle (AIP) to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for its ammonia-fuelled tanker design, a landmark project being carried out with Malaysia’s top shipping line, MISC and engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions.

SHI said in September it will now forge ahead with its exclusive development of a relevant fuel gas supply system and detailed ship design.

It aims to commercialise these developments by 2024.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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