Norway's Grieg, Wärtsilä to build world's first green ammonia tanker

Author: Richard Ewing

2020/12/18

LONDON (ICIS)--Plans by Norway's Grieg Edge and Wärtsilä  to build the world’s first green ammonia fuelled tanker – to transport green ammonia – received the official stamp of approval and government funding on Friday.

The Norwegian funding scheme Pilot-E confirmed it will support the MS Green Ammonia project by providing Grieg Edge and Wärtsilä Norway with Norwegian kroner (NOK) 46.3m ($5.4m).

The pair are jointly running the project to launch the greenhouse gas emission-free tanker in 2024.

Shipping major Grieg Star Group established Grieg Edge as its innovation hub one year ago.

The MS Green Ammonia project is a result of a Nordic industrial collaboration group initiated by Zeeds (Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea).

The duo envisage MS Green Ammonia distributing green ammonia from a planned factory in Berlevåg to various locations and end-users along the lengthy Norwegian coast.

“Both Wärtsilä and ourselves feel confident that this project represents the future for the maritime sector. To have the support from the Norwegian Research Council and Innovation Norway is a significant step towards completion,” said Nicola Grieg, head of Grieg Edge.

“We see a strong interest from owners of ferries, offshore supply ships, fishing vessels, and from energy-producing companies,” added chief business development officer of Grieg Star Group, Vidar Lundberg.

“In total, they require an amount of energy surpassing what we can achieve in this project. The market is there without a doubt.”

One prominent group of potential customers are owners of vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), with the possibility of ammonia being added to their LNG fuel,  or "easily retrofitted" to use only ammonia.

“Norway, with its high number of vessels using LNG or alternative fuels, with high volumes of green energy, and the cheapest electrical power in Europe, is probably the perfect arena for the world’s first market for green ammonia,” Lundberg stated.

“We are in the midst of a transition to low carbon shipping, and the long traditions we have in Norway for cross-industry cooperation is vital for a successful implementation of a new green value chain.”