BW Offshore, SwitcH2 get DNV’s nod for floating ammonia production unit

An industrial-scale concept for a floating green ammonia production unit developed by Netherland-based SwitcH2 BV and Norway-based BW Offshore has secured Approval in Principle (AiP) from classification society DNV.

SwitcH2 render of floating hydrogen and ammonia facility with offshore wind turbines; Image courtesy of SwitcH2

With AiP in place, the technical feasibility of the design has been affirmed and the project is now ready to start the basic design phase.

As explained, the so-called NH3 floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) concept will be built through the conversion of an existing very large crude carrier (VLCC) or a dedicated newbuild vessel. The unit will receive power primarily from a wind farm to produce hydrogen by electrolysis of seawater and nitrogen through the use of an air separation unit, combining these in an ammonia synthesis unit.

The ammonia gas produced by the unit will be condensed, and the liquid ammonia will be stored in the hull in order to be subsequently offloaded to an ammonia carrier. The NH3 FPSO will be permanently moored but can be relocated as necessary through planned disconnect. The offloading will be done through a floating hose, reeled from the aft ship to the shuttle ammonia carrier midship manifold. 

“We are delighted we have been awarded the AiP from DNV for our concept and we look forward to working with DNV in the next stages of the project”, said Bob Rietveldt, Member of the Management Board of SwitcH2.

“At BW Offshore, we leverage our offshore experience to support and expedite the energy transition by engineering next-generation floating production solutions. Achieving this AiP is an important milestone and an encouraging step towards a cleaner energy mix”, added Fredrik Savio, SVP Project Development at BW Offshore.

DNV’s Vice President, Business Development for Floating Production, Conn Fagan, noted that the approval covers all aspects of the integrated vessel concept including structural integrity, mooring, ammonia production, ammonia storage and cargo handling.

Last year, DNV approved a similar concept for a floating production unit to produce green ammonia at sea, called the P2XFloater concept, developed by Norway-based H2Carrier.

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