Norwegian ammonia manufacturer Yara International’s subsidiary Yara Clean Energy has collaborated with maritime logistics firm North Sea Container Line to build the world’s first ammonia-powered container ship, which is expected to enter service by 2026.
Dubbed Yara Eyde, the ammonia-powered ship is optimized for the commercial corridor between Norway and Europe and will operate between Oslo, Brevik, Hamburg, and Bremerhaven.
The world is in the middle of a climate crisis, and all good forces must now come together to quickly cut emissions. Yara International started its green journey with the Yara Birkeland, the world’s first self-driving electric container ship, and now they continue it with the Yara Eyde, which will be the world’s first container ship on pure ammonia.
Maritime transport accounts for 2.8% of global CO2 emissions. In 2022, this amounted to 706 million tonnes of CO2 worldwide. Pure ammonia will help reduce shipping emissions so that goods can be transported across the globe emission-free.
“Ammonia as a fuel does not pollute. When we produce ammonia from renewable energy or with natural gas, where up to 95% of the CO2 emissions are captured and stored permanently, pure ammonia will quickly be a good solution for cutting carbon emissions in the maritime sector. Yara Eyde will demonstrate the maturity of ammonia as a maritime fuel,” said Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, head of Yara Clean Ammonia.
The ammonia-powered ship Yara Eyde would extend the zero-emission value chain from Brevik to ports on the continent. With an emission-free sea journey from Brevik to Europe, the new containership will save 11,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. However, the firms haven’t released more details on the exact specifications of the container ship proposed to be built with the project.
“We see there is increasing demand from product owners to reduce emissions. The ship offers competitive and emission-free logistics to all cargo owners in the Oslofjord and the Greenland region,” says Bente Hetland of North Sea Container Line in a statement.
Yara Clean Ammonia will supply Yara Eyde with ammonia that is produced fossil-free or almost carbon-free. Together with Azane Fuel Solutions, a storage and bunkering network is being developed to make pure ammonia available in Norwegian and, eventually, Scandinavian ports. The bunkering network can also contribute to achieving Norway’s goal of cutting emissions from the offshore sector.
The initial pilot projects have backing from Enova and Innovation Norway, and one of the barges is planned to supply Yara Eyde with low-emission fuel in Brevik.
Yara Clean Ammonia estimates that the ship will be ready to start operations in 2026.