Two Norway-based companies have launched a joint venture to fill an existing gap in the ammonia fuel value chain by developing ammonia ship bunkering infrastructure technology, products and services.
The new company, Azane Fuel Solutions, has been created by technology company ECONNECT Energy and zero-emission ship project specialist Amon Maritime.
As explained, the JV will develop flexible ammonia fuel bunkering terminals to remove the existing barriers for implementing ammonia fuel.
The new solutions will be capable of receiving fuel from ships, trucks and barges, in a refrigerated or pressurised state and be optimised for ammonia-fuelled ships.
“Azane Fuel Solutions will help realise our ambition to accelerate the green shift to zero-carbon shipping solutions,” Morten Christophersen, CEO at ECONNECT Energy, commented.
“Together we are forward-thinking companies with extensive maritime and energy experience to develop the systems and infrastructure for safe and efficient ammonia bunkering.”
Specifically, two options for the ammonia bunkering infrastructure are planned — a shore-based and a floating option.
The first is intended for industrial ports and supply bases, allowing direct ship bunkering alongside the quay, or transfer to a bunkering barge. Larger versions of the system can also function as bunkering storage terminals, serving a fleet of bunkering vessels, according to the partners.
The second option is flexible and mobile, and thus described as “ideal” for the early years of the shift to ammonia fuel, when the first vessels may have to bring their own bunkering station to their most common ports of call. A floating bunkering terminal will retain its flexibility, and will be useful also to bunker ships at anchorage.
“To enable the maritime green transition, new infrastructure must be established. Azane Fuel Solutions will focus on the bunkering part of the value chain and we see clear synergies with our on-going ammonia-powered ship projects,” André Risholm, CEO at Amon Maritime, said.
Initially, Azane Fuel Solutions will offer its products and services globally and see the Northern European market as a likely early adopter of ammonia fuel. There will be a substantial market potential on a global scale as the larger international deep-sea shipping market adopts the new fuel.
First industry project – “Ammonia fuel bunkering network”
Azane Fuel Solutions’ first project is already underway. Together with project partners, spanning the entire value chain from ammonia production to consumption of ammonia as fuel on board vessels, the project will develop and demonstrate an ammonia fuel bunkering network for ships, enabling cost efficient and safe distribution, storage, transfer and utilization of ammonia as a carbon free fuel.
The project aims to be the first in the world to pilot ammonia bunkering operations – taking the first step to enable a large-scale shift to carbon-free fuel for ships.
Ammonia is gaining in popularity and emerging as the likely front-runner in the fourth propulsion revolution in the maritime industry.
According to the predictions from the International Energy Agency (IEA), it will account for around 45% of global energy demand for shipping in 2050.
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