Enova provides funding for three ammonia-fueled short-sea bulkersWritten by Nick Blenkey
The Norwegian government’s Enova innovation agency is providing NOK 130 million (about $12 million) in funding to Skarv Shipping Solutions AS to acquire three cargo ships that will operate, emissions-free along the Norwegian coast.
Skarv Shipping Solutions is a joint venture set up last year by the Bergen headquartered Peak Group, which operates a fleet of around 25 dry cargo, project and self-discharging vessels ranging from 1,000 dwt to 6000 dwt, and the Grieg Maritime Group’s sustainability-focused Grieg Edge subsidiary. The JV was established to to initiate and develop sustainable short-sea shipping in northern Europe.
“Enova supports those who go ahead,” said Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova. “Skarv Shipping Solutions has developed an exciting and innovative project that can mean a lot for the development of our short-sea shipping,”
Operating in short-haul shipping along the Norwegian coast, from northern Norway and south to the Oslo Fjord, the ships will have a cargo capacity of around 4,000 tonnes. Main propulsion power will be provided by an ammonia-fueled Wärtsilä four-stroke engine. Other technologies that are being considered for the ships include rotor sails, which, together with a hybrid electric system and a new hull design, promise to drastically reduce energy use. The ships will also have electrical cargo handling equipment.
“We have used considerable resources to create a shipping and logistics concept that we strongly believe can be brought to market and ensure high security, efficiency and reliability,” says Jan Øivind Svardal, general manager of Skarv Shipping Solutions. “We have had dialogue with our customers throughout the process. Now, with Enova’s decision, we are eager to move forward and achieve our next goals: to negotiate final contracts and start contracting and building ships.”
Central to the project, says Enova, is the ammonia engine. Wärtsilä has previously tested the engine technology at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Center in Stord, Norway, and aims to deliver it towards the end of 2024. Ammonia, together with hydrogen, is considered to be an important alternative in cases where batteries cannot ensure a good enough range .
“The next big step in the restructuring of shipping is the transition to zero-emission fuel,” commented Norway’s Norwegian minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide, “This ground-breaking project will lead the way and show the way for short-haul shipping to adopt a wide range of zero-emission solutions, including the use of green ammonia. I look forward to following the development.”