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Skarv Gets Enova Funding for Three Ammonia-fueled Ships

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 16, 2023

This is what one of Skarv Shipping Solutions' ships could look like. The vessels will potentially have a 90 per cent reduction in emissions compared to similar traditional ships. Ill. NORTHWEST3D

This is what one of Skarv Shipping Solutions' ships could look like. The vessels will potentially have a 90 per cent reduction in emissions compared to similar traditional ships. Ill. NORTHWEST3D

The Norwegian government is providing financial support for the construction of three cargo ships that will run emissions-free along the Norwegian coast.

Enova, a Norwegian government enterprise promoting the use of clean energy, said it is providing NOK 130 million to Skarv Shipping Solutions AS for the acquisition of three cargo ships that will run on batteries, ammonia engines, rotor sails and energy-saving hull design. The vessels will potentially have a 90% reduction in emissions compared to similar traditional ships.

"Enova supports those who go ahead. Skarv Shipping Solutions has developed an exciting and innovative project that can mean a lot for the development of our short-sea shipping," said Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova.

Skarv Shipping Solutions is a joint venture between Peak Group and Grieg Edge to initiate and develop sustainable short-sea shipping in northern Europe.

"We have used considerable resources to create a shipping and logistics concept that we strongly believe can be brought to market and ensure high security, efficiency and reliability. We have had dialogue with our customers throughout the process. Now, with Enova's decision, we are eager to move forward and achieve our next goals: to negotiate final contracts and start contracting and building ships," said Jan Øivind Svardal, general manager of Skarv Shipping Solutions.

The vessels, with a cargo capacity of 4,000 tonnes each, will be used in short-haul shipping along the Norwegian coast, from northern Norway and south to the Oslo Fjord. Propulsion will be based on a four-stroke engine that uses ammonia as fuel. The engine, supplied by Wärtsilä, will be among the world's first four-stroke ammonia engines. Different technologies are being considered for the ships, including rotor sails, which, together with the hybrid electric system and a new hull design, drastically reduce energy use. The ships will also have electrical equipment for cargo handling.

Central to the project is the ammonia engine. Wärtsilä has previously tested the engine technology at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Center in Stord, and aims to deliver it towards the end of 2024. Ammonia, together with hydrogen, is considered to be an important alternative in cases where batteries cannot ensure a good enough range .

"Skarv Shipping Solutions' ambition is to develop zero-emission vessels as part of our work to establish sustainable maritime solutions for the entire shipping industry. Enova's significant funding will have a major impact on our work to achieve the ambitions of a real green shift within shipping, especially short-haul shipping. We are very grateful. This will speed up the process we have detailed in our roadmap for zero emissions," said Jan Petter Slethaug, chairman of Skarv Shipping Solutions.

"Ammonia has a potentially important role to play in the low-emission society and this project can be of great importance for emission-free propulsion alternatives. If Skarv Shipping Solutions and Wärtsilä succeed in the project and the technology proves to be competitive, it could pave the way for ammonia as an energy carrier," Nakstad said.

Enova said it is experiencing great interest from the market in alternative energy carriers. This applies in particular to ammonia, but also to hydrogen. Not least, this is reflected in many applications for the technology program for the first two application deadlines.

"The next big step in the restructuring of shipping is the transition to zero-emission fuel. This groundbreaking project will lead the way and show the way for short-haul shipping to adopt a wide range of zero-emission solutions, including the use of green ammonia. I look forward to following the development," said the Norwegian minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide (Ap).

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