Viridis wins AiP for its ammonia-powered short-sea bulk vessel

Classification society Bureau Veritas has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Viridis Bulk Carriers, a joint venture of Norwegian shipping consultancy Amon Maritime and compatriot shipowners Navigare Shipping & Logistics and AS Mosvolds Rederia, for its ammonia-powered short-sea bulk vessel.

Illustration / Courtesy of Viridis Bulk Carriers

Viridis pointed out that the approval is an important step towards being able to order the first series of vessels. To note, it expects to place orders for ships during 2023, with deliveries starting in 2025.

According to Viridis, its vessels, which are designed to support charterers’ cargo capacity needs, have a similar sailing range as the current fleet of short sea bulk vessels > 3,000 nm. In addition, they are designed to maintain crew and societal safety at the level of conventional vessels.

Espen Nordstrøm from Viridis Bulk Carriers said: “We are very pleased with the cooperation we have had with Bureau Veritas through the approval process. The AiP from BV is a major milestone for Viridis and will enable us to move towards the newbuilding phase. With the EU and IMO increasing their emission reduction targets, the Viridis vessels will comply with these and be able to provide charterers with superior greenhouse gas reductions in their logistical value chain.”

Herman Spilker, Vice President at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, North Europe Zone, said: “We have developed the understanding required and the classification rules that help make safe innovation possible. Our notations and guidance for new fuels provide a key framework for the future.”

“Bureau Veritas class approval in principle helps provide the confidence needed to support this ammonia as fuel project and we warmly welcome the initiative and ambition from Viridis Bulk Carriers as we work with our clients and partners to shape a better maritime world.”

Viridis said that its vessels have been designed with the customer in focus and in close collaboration with client partners and key suppliers, and also pointed out that the company has collaborated with the eight charterers in the ‘Flexbulk NH3 Ammonia Power’ consortium project to ensure that cargo capacities and operational capabilities are just as future-proof as the power technology and emissions reductions.

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The vessel design is by Kongsberg Maritime, the company further noted.

Einar Vegsund, Director of Ship Design Solutions at Kongsberg Maritime, commented: “Kongsberg Maritime is constantly seeking technologies for a greener ocean and has therefore taken a significant role in the FlexBulk project. We develop the fuel gas supply system (FGSS) and our ship design team is responsible for all aspects of the next-generation bulk carrier design covering general arrangement, specification, hydrodynamics, stability, safety, machinery, and electrical aspects.”

“We are inspired by the Viridis Bulk Carriers’ strategy not to take a wait-and-see approach to decarbonisation but to partner with high-end clients who are making value-driven choices to reduce CO2 emissions for the transportation of their products. We will use our experienced teams to ensure a strong focus on safety with special measures taken to limit the risk, ensuring it is similar to that found on conventional ships.“

Viridis Bulk Carriers is also a consortium member of ‘Ammonia Fuel Bunkering Network,’ which will build a bunkering network in Scandinavia in collaboration with Norwegian Yara, the company said. The first terminal is expected to be delivered in 2024 as part of the Green Platform backed project, and Yara has pre-ordered an additional 15 bunkering terminals for the Scandinavian market which, according to Viridis, ensures delivery security for ammonia fuel to the Viridis Bulk Carriers fleet.