Zero emissions ships move a step closer

Jan 30 | 2020

A maritime innovation project to install the world’s first ammonia-powered fuel cell on a vessel has been awarded €10m funding from the European Union (EU).

Viking EnergyThe ShipFC project is being run by a consortium of 14 European companies and institutions, co-ordinated by the Norwegian cluster organisation NCE Maritime CleanTech. The innovative project has been awarded backing from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under its Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

An offshore vessel, Viking Energy, will be retrofitted with a large 2MW ammonia fuel cell allowing it to sail solely on the clean fuel for up to 3,000 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 prove that a large fuel cell can deliver total electric power to shipboard 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-kilowatt fuel cell to two megawatts.

The ship’s ammonia system will be supplied by Wärtsilä and begin testing at the Sustainable Energy Norwegian Catapult Centre in late 2023.

Photo: Viking Energy