Viridis on track to place orders for first ammonia-fueled bulkers

Written by Nick Blenkey
Viridis ammonia-fueled bulker

Image: Kongsberg Maritime

Ammonia-fueled shipping startup Viridis Bulk Carriers AS — a joint venture between two Norwegian shipowners, Navigare Logistics and Mosvolds Rederi, and zero emission ship project specialists Amon Maritime — is a step closer to its ambition of getting zero-carbon short sea bulkers on the water.

It has received an Approval in Principle (AiP) from Bureau Veritas for its design and is hailing this an important step towards being able to order the first series of vessels. It now expects to place orders for ships during 2023, with deliveries starting in 2025.

“We have developed the understanding required and the classification rules that help make safe innovation possible,” says Herman Spilker, vice president at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, North Europe Zone. “Our notations and guidance for new fuels provide a key framework for the future. Bureau Veritas class approval in principle helps provide the confidence needed to support this ammonia as fuel project and we warmly welcome the initiative and ambition from Viridis Bulk Carriers as we work with our clients and partners to shape a better maritime world.”

The Viridis ammonia-fueled bulk carrier vessels have been designed with the customer in focus and in close collaboration with client partners and key suppliers.

The company has collaborated with the eight charterers in the Flexbulk NH3 Ammonia Power consortium project to ensure that cargo capacities and operational capabilities are just as future-proof as the power technology and emissions reductions.

The vessel design is by Kongsberg Maritime.

Since the start of the Flexbulk consortium project considerable technical development, design iterations and optimization of the vessel design have been achieved.

“Kongsberg Maritime is constantly seeking technologies for a greener ocean and has therefore taken a significant role in the FlexBulk project,” says Einar Vegsund, director ship design solutions at Kongsberg Maritime. “We develop the fuel gas supply system (FGSS) and our Ship Design team is responsible for all aspects of the next generation bulk carrier design covering general arrangement, specification, hydrodynamics, stability, safety, machinery and electrical aspects. We are inspired by the Viridis Bulk Carriers strategy not to take a wait-and-see approach to decarbonization but to partner with high-end clients who are making value-driven choices to reduce CO2 emissions for transportation of their products. We will use our experienced teams to ensure a strong focus on safety with special measures taken to limit the risk, ensuring it is similar to that found on conventional ships.”

Viridis Bulk Carriers is also a consortium member of the Ammonia Fuel Bunkering Network project, which will build a bunkering network in Scandinavia in collaboration with Yara. The first terminal will be delivered in 2024 as part of the Green Platform backed project. Yara has pre-ordered an additional 15 bunkering terminals for the Scandinavian market. This will ensure security of delivery of ammonia fuel to the Viridis Bulk Carriers fleet.

“We are very pleased with the co-operation we have had with Bureau Veritas through the approval process. The approval in principle from Bureau Veritas is a major milestone for Viridis and will enable us to move towards the newbuilding phase,” says Espen Nordstrøm at Viridis Bulk Carriers. “With EU and IMO increasing their emission reduction targets, the Viridis vessels will comply with these and be able to provide charterers with superior greenhouse gas reductions in their logistical value chain.”

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