Nordic partners to proceed with ammonia-fueled ammonia carrier design

The Nordic Green Ammonia-Powered Ship (NoGAPS) project has entered its second phase to produce a detailed ship design for an ammonia-fueled vessel that will also carry ammonia as a cargo.

Illustration; Archive; Courtesy of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

With additional funding from Nordic Innovation, the project is now extended for 24 months, laying the foundation for a potential shipyard tender and construction of the vessel.

The organisation decided to co-fund the second phase building on the findings and momentum from the initial project that ran from 2020 to 2021 under the Nordic Innovation Mobility Mission: Sea Meets Land.

In the first phase, the project carried out a concept study exploring the potential to initiate the transition to a long-term decarbonised shipping sector through the deployment of an ammonia-powered ammonia carrier.

A holistic proof of concept that addresses ship design and safety, production and supply of green ammonia as well as the business models and economic incentives that will be required to make the project economically viable was identified in the study.

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In the second phase, the project consortium consisting of Global Maritime Forum, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Yara, BW Epic Kosan, MAN Energy Solutions, Wärtsilä and DNV will deliver a detailed design of ammonia-powered ammonia carrier in order to promote standardisation in the sector.

As disclosed, the work will address challenges in vessel design identified in the initial NoGAPS project, including:

  • safety (materials and configuration for fuel storage and engine room, crew placement, containment systems, etc);
  • optimal tank sizing and placement;
  • and energy efficiency among other issues.

The M/S NoGAPS will be a ship that operates commercially in the Nordic region and the project partners (particularly Yara and BWEK) involved in that operation have significant strategic interests in ensuring that the ship contributes to the spread of zero-emission ammonia-powered shipping, the project partners said.

The project aims to have the M/S NoGAPS in operation in the region by 2024-2025, while the long-term objective is to establish the infrastructure, operational and business models for ammonia-powered shipping in the region.

Achieving these objectives is expected to speed up the decarbonisation of the Nordic maritime ecosystem, stimulate investment and job growth in the sector and create a leading position globally for Nordic actors throughout the value chain.

Since ammonia is one of the main alternative fuel options currently considered by shipping for net-zero operations and is estimated to account for around 45% of global energy demand for shipping in 2050, the industry players are working hard to develop feasible ammonia propulsion technologies.

In this context, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and its parent company Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) were recently granted an approval in principle (AiP) by the classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) for the design and development of an ammonia carrier with ammonia-fuelled propulsion.

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