Grieg Edge, the innovation hub of Norwegian shipping group Grieg Star, and Wärtsilä Norway have received NOK 46.3 million (about $5.4 million) in support from the Norwegian government’s Pilot-E program for a project that aims to to launch an ammonia-fueled tanker producing no greenhouse gas emissions by 2024.
“We regard the funding from Pilot-E as a valuable stamp of approval for our plans,” says Nicolai Grieg, Head of Grieg Edge. “Both Wärtsilä and we feel confident that this project represents the future for the maritime sector. To have the support from the Norwegian Research Council and Innovation Norway is a significant step towards completion.”
The vessel, the MS Green Ammonia, will distribute green ammonia from a planned factory in Berlevåg, Norway, to various locations and end-users along the coast. The eventual design, size, and volume of the vessel will be dependent on the market and end-user interest. However, the project has already established Letters of Intent (LOI) 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,” says Vidar Lundberg, Chief Business Development Officer, Grieg Star Group. “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.”
Ship owners operating LNG-fueled vessels are seen a significant source of potential customers. Depending on the engine type, ammonia could be mixed with the LNG, or alternatively, the engine could be easily retrofitted to use only ammonia.
“We are in the midst of a transition to low carbon shipping, and the long traditions we have in Norway for cross industry cooperation is vital for the successful implementation of a new green value chain. Through fruitful collaboration with customers, Wärtsilä has been at the forefront of developing marine applications for LNG, hybrid systems, and fuel cells. We are excited to be contributing to this important demonstration project for green ammonia together with a forward leaning ship owner such as Grieg Edge, and the other collaborating partners”, says Cato Esperø, Head of sales Wärtsilä Norway.