Viridis Bulk Carriers gains backing from five cargo owners

Ammonia-powered shipping startup Viridis Bulk Carriers has signed MoU’s with cargo owners Elkem, Vestkorn, BioMar, Franzefoss Minerals, and Saltimport to develop a zero-emission freight network.

In addition to further developing the ship technology platform, the partnership will explore a zero-emission logistics system comprising ships, fuel logistics and flows of cargo from the 5 cargo owners.

The end goal of the project is a flexible bulk shipping network, served by a fleet of ammonia-powered ships, based on long-term contracts of affreightment.

The memoranda are being announced just a few months after the launching of Viridis Bulk Carriers, a joint venture company set up by Norwegian shipping consultancy Amon Maritime, Navigare Shipping & Logistics, and AS Mosvolds Rederi.

The company will specialize in short-sea shipping, powering its ships by green and blue ammonia. The JV is in discussions with a number of shipyards for placing orders for a series of vessels planned for deliveries 2024-2025.

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According to Viridis, the ships will be sufficiently flexible to handle varying types and volumes of cargo, in terms of both operational range and functional capabilities. Viridis Bulk Carriers expects to place orders for ships during 2022.

“We see clear synergies between the cargo flows of our Client Partners. This is a good starting point to achieve high ship utilization,” says Espen Nordstrøm at Viridis Bulk Carriers.

With the increased productivity in the logistics chain, the cooperation aims to cut the cost impact of utilizing carbon-free ammonia fuel, which is likely to initially be more expensive than fuels used today.

However, implementation of the project is expected to have a significant impact on local pollutants and global CO2 emissions from shipping, in addition to reducing value chain emissions for food-, fish feed-, metals-, fertilizer-, construction-, and other industries which transport large bulk and special project cargo volumes.

André Risholm at Viridis Bulk Carriers welcomed the companies and invited all environmentally ambitious cargo owners to collaborate with the JV.

“Zero-emission shipping will be enabled through economies of scale, and our door is open for everyone who finds this interesting,” he added.