New Norwegian vessel operator sets up shop as ammonia-powered PSV design enters offshore market

New vessel operator sets up shop as ammonia-powered PSV design enters offshore market

Norwegian shipping company Amon Maritime has launched a new offshore market player – Amon Offshore – and a carbon-free, ammonia-powered platform supply vessel (PSV) design, which already received approval in principle from DNV and preliminary flag approval from the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

Amon Offshore PSV at Azane Fuel Solutions ammonia bunkering terminal; Source; Amon Maritime

While making this announcement on Monday, Amon Maritime outlined that Amon Offshore was created to build, own and operate a fleet of ammonia-powered supply ships for the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). These carbon-free workhorses for the shipping industry have been “developed to meet oil companies’ current and future offshore logistics needs, setting a new standard for North Sea PSVs – while drastically reducing emissions.”

According to the Norwegian shipping firm, ammonia fuel will be made available thanks to a floating bunkering terminal at the selected supply base from an affiliated company, Azane Fuel Solutions, with fuel provided by a project partner, Yara Clean Ammonia. The ammonia-powered PSVs from Amon Offshore and the bunkering terminals from Azane Fuel Solutions will enable “a full-scale shift to carbon-free offshore logistics – creating the foundation for decarbonising global shipping.”

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André Risholm, Founder & CEO of Amon Maritime, commented: “This is the next generation. We are combining new technologies with future requirements, enabling capabilities only available for newbuildings. Our vessels will be carbon-free, future-proof, and holistically designed for ammonia fuel from the ground up.”

These vessels will be managed by Amon Maritime’s in-house, fully integrated new ship management setup in Norway, Ula Ship Management, which is a joint venture with Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, “the third largest ship manager in the world.”

As the Norwegian government has stated in the Hurdal Platform that all PSVs on the NCS will release zero emissions by 2030, this requires approximately 80 newbuilds or significantly modified/rebuilt to be delivered between 2025-2030, which will be “a massive boost for innovation and value creation” in the maritime industry.

Taking this into consideration, Amon Maritime highlights that the new Amon PSV has been developed for full compliance with 2030 requirements, “offering carbon-free operations with best-in-class energy efficiency,” and Amon Offshore is working closely with clients to obtain charter contracts, “enabling the first ships to be delivered in 2025.”

Furthermore, the Amon PSV project, which started in 2020, has been developed with the customer in focus thanks to a collaboration with oil companies on the NCS to ensure that cargo capacities and operational capabilities are ”just as future-proof” as the power technology and emissions reductions. Kongsberg Maritime was chosen to design and deliver “key technologies” for this project.

Jørn Heltne, Vice President for Ship Design sales in Kongsberg Maritime, remarked: “These vessels will represent the next generation PSV and Amon Maritime will set a new standard in the logistics in the segment with these newbuildings. We are proud of working with them to lead the green shift in shipping, designing what we believe will be a game changer for the market.”

Moreover, the Amon PSV received approval in principle for gas-fuelled (ammonia) notation from DNV in March 2022 while the Norwegian Maritime Authorities issued its letter of the preliminary assessment in May 2022. Amon Maritime underscores that this is “the world’s first preliminary flag approval for an ammonia-powered ship.”

Arnstein Eknes, Segment Director, Special Ships at DNV, underlined: “It is great to see a modern PSV design developed for ammonia as fuel. Innovations like this, coupled with close collaboration between all stakeholders in the value chain are key to accelerating maritime decarbonisation. We congratulate Amon Offshore for this timely and important contribution to supporting the energy transition.”