Pherousa introduces ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking tech on Deltamarin design, readies orders for 6 ammonia-powered bulkers

Norwegian Company Pherousa Green Shipping, in collaboration with Pherousa Green Technologies, has revealed plans to potentially order up to six Ultramax dry bulk carriers, developed in cooperation with Deltamarin in Finland, specifically tailored to run on ammonia as a fuel.

Image credit: Deltamarin

The Ultramax ships will incorporate ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking technology developed by Helbio S.A., a subsidiary of Metacon, which maintains a 10 percent ownership stake in Pherousa Green Technologies.

Joining forces with Pherousa, the Norwegian maritime technology and service provider, HAV Group ASA, has also become an industrialization partner, retaining a 10 percent ownership share in Pherousa Green Technologies.

The ship design is expected to enable zero-emission propulsion, marking a crucial step towards reducing environmental impact in the maritime industry.

In May 2022, Metacon delivered the first ammonia cracker prototype to Pherousa, utilizing Helbio’s innovative tubular reforming reactor technology. The achievement enables the feed of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell with ammonia fuel that meets the fuel quality standards outlined in ISO 14687:2019.

The efficiency and compactness of this ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking process make it feasible to be implemented on board ships, opening up possibilities for carbon-free ammonia-based propulsion systems.

These technologies offer the potential for developing zero CO2 solutions in the form of either internal combustion engines (ICE) that utilize ammonia-facilitated hydrogen combustion or fuel cell (FC) propulsion systems, where ammonia is converted entirely into hydrogen and then electricity to power electric motors. The choice of the preferred solution may vary depending on specific circumstances and preferences, but both options provide zero-emission solutions-

“We are pleased to launch the Pherousa technology at a moment when the impacts of the global climate change have reached new heights. By launching our Ammonia-to-Hydrogen cracking Technology onboard an existing Deltamarin design we aim at taking the lead and show the way for future potential customers of Pherousa and our technology. We are further pleased to do this in company with our partners and shareholders, Helbio S.A., Metacon AB and HAV Group ASA,” Chairman of Pherousa Green Technologies AS, Hans Bredrup, said.

Metacon continues to support Pherousa on its mission to enable sustainable shipping. Our role as both technology partner and long-term supplier of key sub-systems to this future growth market constitute a significant long-term business opportunity for Metacon. We also welcome HAV Group as a capable industrialization partner into this exciting venture,” says Christer Wikner, President & CEO of Metacon.

Metacon AB specializes in developing and manufacturing energy systems for hydrogen, heat, and electricity production. Their patented technology generates hydrogen through catalytic steam reforming of biogas or other hydrocarbons. The company’s Greece-based subsidiary, Helbio S.A., focuses on advanced reactors and catalytic process chemistry for hydrogen production.