Ammonia-fueled shipping project gets Norwegian government funding

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ammonia-fueled bulk carrier

Viridis expects to place its first shipbuilding orders before the end of next year. [Image: Kongsberg Maritime / Viridis Bulk Carriers]

Viridis Bulk Carriers—a joint venture between Navigare Logistics, Amon Maritime and Mosvolds Rederi—and its consortium partners in an ambitious ammonia-fueled shipping project have been awarded NOK !3.75 (about $1.53 million) in Norwegian government development funding.

Awarded under Norway’s Pilot-E program, the funding will be used to help create a carbon-free short sea bulk transportation system involving cargo shippers, ships and fuel logistics.

The application for the grants was made in a close cooperation between Kongsberg Maritime’s Ship design and Energy departments and Viridis Bulk Carriers, with Kongsberg delivering the capability to provide the technology and integrated solutions required.

The seven shipper partners in the just-funded project—Elkem, Yara, Franzefoss Minerals, Vestkorn, Saltimport, Viken AT Market and Biomar—currently generate a short sea bulk cargo volume of 20 million tons a year, representing more than 5,000 shipments, equal to 100 ships in operation.

Yara is the world’s largest producer of fertilizers and relies on ammonia for their manufacture, as we reported earlier, in addition to introducing the world’s first all-electric, autonomous containership, it is involved in the development of green ammonia as an emission-free fuel for shipping, through the newly started Yara Clean Ammonia.


“This is a ground-breaking collaborative project where the visionary companies are taking the first big step to make ammonia as zero-emission fuel a realistic option for the future,” says Murali Srinivasan, senior vice president, Yara Clean Ammonia.

“Yara is committed to contribute on the decarbonization of the food value chain and is successfully working on reducing its carbon footprint. Ammonia fueled vessels are also expected to reduce Yara’s own GHG emissions on shipping and transport,” says Angelo Biancardi, vice president of Yara Maritime Logistics.

Viridis says its ships will be sufficiently flexible to handle varying types and volumes of cargo, in terms of both operational range and functional capabilities, and that it expects to place the first shipbuilding orders before the end of 2022, with deliveries starting in 2024/25.

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