An illustration of the ammonia-powered vessel under development. Credit: Viridis Bulk Carriers

Ammonia-Powered Short Sea Shipping Project Awarded Norwegian Funding

Mike Schuler
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December 17, 2021

Norway-based Viridis Bulk Carriers and its partners have been awarded funding to help develop ammonia-powered short sea ships for the European sector.

The public funding, amounting to $13.75 million (USD $1.5 million), was awarded under the Norwegian Pilot-E program, a collaboration between the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway and ENOVA, and designed to support innovative maritime projects.

Viridis Bulk Carriers is a new joint venture shipping company that is seeking to become the world’s first zero-emission shipping company. Joint venture partners include Navigare Logistics, Amon Maritime and Mosvolds Rederi. The funded project, known as FlexBulk – NH3 Power, involves charter partners Elkem, Yara, Franzefoss Minerals, Vestkorn, Saltimport, Viken AT Market and Bioma, who alone control short sea bulk cargo volumes of 20 million tons representing more than 5,000 shipments per year across 100 ships in operation.

“This award is a recognition of our vision and marks a milestone in our commitment to an environmentally friendly fleet renewal. Through our FlexBulk project, we will build the world’s first short-sea fleet based on ammonia as fuel, and we are pleased that the Norwegian authorities are helping to promote innovative initiatives towards the green shift,” said Espen Nordstrøm at Viridis Bulk Carriers / Navigare Logistics.

Viridis Bulk Carriers is looking to place the first shipbuilding orders in 2022, with deliveries starting in 2024 and 2025. The Flexbulk – NH3 Power project is closely related to the sister-project “Ammonia fuel bunkering network” project, which received NOK 89 million from the Norwegian Green Platform program earlier this year.

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