Skarv Shipping gets financial boost for ammonia-fueled bulker trio

Skarv Shipping Solutions, a joint venture between Grieg Edge and Peak Group AS, has received NOK 130 million ($12.3. million) in funding from Enova for the construction of three ammonia-powered short-sea bulk carriers.

Skarv Shipping Solutions

As informed, the vessels, with a cargo capacity of 4,000 tonnes each, will be used in short-haul shipping along the Norwegian coast, from northern Norway and south to the Oslo Fjord. Propulsion will be based on a 4-stroke engine that uses ammonia as fuel. 

The engines will be provided by Finnish technology group Wärtsilä. The company claims that these engines will be among the world’s first 4-stroke ammonia engines. 

Wärtsilä has previously tested the engine technology at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Center in Stord, and aims to deliver it towards the end of 2024. Ammonia, together with hydrogen, is considered to be an important alternative in cases where batteries are not a good solution for the ship.

Furthermore, different technologies are being considered for the ships, including rotor sails. Together with the hybrid electric system and a new hull design, the new technologies could “drastically” reduce energy consumption. Specifically, the ships could achieve a 90 per cent reduction in emissions compared to similar traditional ships, according to the firm. They will also have electrical equipment for cargo handling. 

“Enova’s support is invaluable in developing our plan to reduce CO2 emissions in Norway’s coastal maritime sector. We have poured considerable resources into crafting a shipping and logistics concept that we are absolutely positive can be taken to market to ensure the utmost safety, efficiency, and dependability. We have maintained constant dialogue with our customers throughout the process. Now, with Enova’s decision, we are eager to move forward and accomplish our next goals: firm commercial agreements with our clients and initiating the contracting and construction of ships,” said Jan Øivind Svardal, CEO of Skarv Shipping Solutions. 

“Ammonia has a potentially important role to play in the low-emission society and this project can be of great importance for emission-free propulsion alternatives. If Skarv Shipping Solutions and Wärtsilä succeed in the project and the technology proves to be competitive, it could pave the way for ammonia…,” added Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova.

“The next big step in transforming shipping is the transition to zero-emission fuel. This ground-breaking project will lead the way and show the way for short-haul shipping to adopt a wide range of zero-emission solutions, including the use of green ammonia. I look forward to following the development,” added Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide (Ap).

The JV founders said that the company aims to help ship and cargo owners reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and reach their climate goals.

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