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Multiple projects are exploring the viability of ammonia-fuels ships (NYK concept ship) / NYK

World - Research Highlights Promising Outlook for Ammonia-Powered Vessels

While momentum is building for the transition to zero-emission shipping, with significant research focusing on ammonia as a fuel source, much remains yet to be proven in the technical and financial case.

A consortium of Nordic companies joined together to joined together in a new concept study exploring the business case for ammonia, seeking to confirm its potential scalability and application on long-distance routes. The Nordic Green Ammonia-Powered Ship concept study concludes that green ammonia holds the potential to play a significant role in decarbonizing maritime transport if investors and operators are presented with a credible business model.

“Understanding the technologies and business models needed to deliver zero-emission shipping is key,” says Jesse Fahnestock, Project Director at the Global Maritime Forum who along with Fu?rstenberg Maritime Advisory developed the project. “The NoGAPS concept study examines the full value chain viability of powering ships with green ammonia. It finds that using green ammonia as a fuel is both practical and feasible. Focus should now be on measures that can strengthen the business case for zero-emission ammonia.”

The consortium investigated using a hypothetical mid-sized gas carrier using ammonia as its fuel source. Believing that green ammonia-powered shipping has a significant potential to contribute to the decarbonization of the maritime sector is significant, they decided that ammonia carriers present a logical starting point for demonstrating this potential. The project set out to explore the vessel, the fuel, and the fueling options, as well as the business, financing, and policy considerations.  

They concluded that powering a vessel by using ammonia as a fuel is both practical and feasible and the engines required sold be available by 2024. They believe that good solutions are being developed to the challenges such as reducing the release of unburnt gas and the potentially harmful emissions. In addition, they found that there are no significant technical barriers toward the large-scale production of green ammonia.

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