Offshore vessel to run on ammonia-powered fuel cell
ShipFC consortium’s project has been awarded a €10 million fund injection from the EU to deliver a fuel-cell powered by green ammonia.
The ShipFC project is being run by a consortium of 14 European companies and institutions, co-ordinated by the Norwegian cluster organisation NCE Maritime CleanTech, and has been awarded backing from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under its Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
The project will see an offshore vessel, Viking Energy, which is owned and operated by Eidesvik and on contract to Equinor, have a large 2 MW ammonia fuel cell retrofitted, allowing it to sail solely on the clean fuel for up to 3000 hours annually. The project will demonstrate that long-range zero-emission voyages with high power on larger ships is possible.
The goal is also to ensure that a large fuel cell can deliver total electric power to shipboards systems safely and effectively. This is the first time an ammonia-powered fuel-cell will be installed on a vessel. A significant part of the project will be the scale up of a 100 kW fuel cell to 2 MW. The fuel cell is tested on land in a parallel project and development and construction will be undertaken by Prototech. Testing will be executed at the Sustainable Energy Norwegian Catapult Centre. The ship-side ammonia system will be supplied by Wärtsilä.
The ammonia fuel cell system will be installed on Viking Energy in late 2023.
Norwegian crop nutrition company Yara has been contracted to supply the green ammonia which will be produced by electrolysis and delivered to Viking Energy containerised to enable easy and safe refuelling.
Another part of the ShipFC project will perform studies on three other vessel types, namely offshore construction vessels and two cargo vessel types, to illustrate the ability to transfer this technology to other segments of the shipping industry.