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Wartsila and Eidesvik Offshore to cooperate in world’s first ammonia conversion project

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Wartsila and Eidesvik Offshore to cooperate in world’s first ammonia conversion project. Image: Wartsila
Wartsila and Eidesvik Offshore to cooperate in world’s first ammonia conversion project. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wartsila and Norwegian ship owner Eidesvik Offshore ASA have signed a landmark cooperation agreement aimed at converting an offshore supply vessel to operate with an ammonia-fuelled combustion engine with required fuel supply and safety system. This project will be the first of its kind ever in the world and has a provisional completion target by the end of 2023.

The OSV considered for a retrofit currently has Wartsila dual-fuel engines operating primarily with LNG fuel. The conversion will allow the vessel to operate with a 70 percent ammonia blend. Wartsila has already successfully laboratory tested an engine fuelled with a 70 percent ammonia blend. The ultimate goal is to achieve operation with 100 percent ammonia and with a minimum ignition fuel requirement.

As a fuel, ammonia has the potential to drastically reduce emissions of CO2. Both Wartsila and Eidesvik have stated their commitment to supporting the industry’s efforts to decarbonise its operations.

“Using ammonia as a fuel is seen as a key future contributor to shipping’s energy transition, and we’re excited to be the first offshore ship owner taking this step. This project is yet another confirmation of our strong reputation as a pioneer in implementing new environmental technologies in both newbuilds and the existing fleet,” said Eidesvik CEO & President, Jan Fredrik Meling.

“Collaborating with Eidesvik on this groundbreaking project is an exciting and important step towards carbon-free shipping. Naturally we are also working with classification societies on measures to ensure safe and environmentally sustainable use. We are already well advanced in the development of ammonia as a viable marine fuel, and are actively working on other future carbon-free fuels as well. Our strong in-house competences are very much being utilised to support our commitment to decarbonising shipping,” said Hans Petter Nesse, Managing Director of Wartsila Norway.

Eidesvik has a strong track record in supporting sustainable innovations, having used LNG fuel in its fleet from as early as 2003, and fuel cells from 2006. The company believes that to achieve the industry’s decarbonisation targets, not only newbuilds will need to have the appropriate technologies, but existing vessels must also be retrofitted accordingly. Furthermore, prolonging the life of existing assets requires less capital and is less energy-intensive than building new ones.

Wartsila and Eidesvik are also partners in the EU-funded ShipFC project to equip a platform supply vessel, the ‘Viking Energy’ with a 2MW fuel cell running on green ammonia. The installation is scheduled to take place in late 2023.

This ammonia conversion project also ties in with one of the ongoing work streams of the Wärtsilä-led Zero Emissions Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) project, aimed at developing ammonia-powered newbuilds and converting suitable existing vessels.

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Environment

MOL, MAN ES and MES-M sign Memorandum of Understanding

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MOL, MAN ES and MES-M sign Memorandum of Understanding. Image: MOL
MOL, MAN ES and MES-M sign Memorandum of Understanding. Image: MOL
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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. -MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto signed the Memorandum of Understanding with MAN Energy Solutions -MAN ES; CEO: Dr. Uwe Lauber; Headquarters: Augsburg and Mitsui E&S Machinery, Ltd. -MES-M; President: Ichiro Tanaka; Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Toky, to target the signing of purchase contract of an ammonia fueled main engine which is currently under development by MAN ES.

Ammonia is one of the top candidates as next-generation clean fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide. MOL addresses environmental issues in accordance with the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1”, and continually strives to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and to deploy net zero emissions ocean-going vessels within the 2020s. MOL aim to order ammonia fueled main engine, a pioneer engine of net zero emission vessels aligned under this agreement, and to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society.

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Maersk invests in Vertoro to develop green lignin marine fuels

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Maersk invests in Vertoro to develop green lignin marine fuels. Image: Maersk
Maersk invests in Vertoro to develop green lignin marine fuels. Image: Maersk
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Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk, invests in Vertoro – a Dutch start-up focused on developing liquid lignin technology which can be used as a marine fuel.

Maersk’s investment will be used to further develop and commercialise Vertoro’s patented liquid lignin technology, and it will enable Vertoro to build a demo plant, which will become operational in 2022. The output of this plant will be used to develop marine fuels in partnership with Maersk as well as other applications for the materials and chemicals markets.

The minority investment supports A.P. Moller – Maersk’s work to decarbonise marine operations. Maersk expects several fuel types to exist alongside each other in the future and has identified four potential fuel pathways to decarbonisation: biodiesel, alcohols, ammonia, and lignin-enhanced alcohols. Lignin is a class of complex organic polymers which form key structural materials in the support tissues of most plants.

“Lignin fuels have a promising potential when it comes to decarbonising shipping. We consider Vertoro to be a leading start-up in the sustainable biomass-to-liquids space and we are excited to invest in the company and become part of the efforts to effectively scale up production of green fuels. Furthermore, we believe that we can offer value beyond capital through the expertise and scale of the broader Maersk organisation.” Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen Partner at Maersk Growth.

Vertoro, founded in 2017, produces liquid lignin exclusively from sustainably sourced forestry and agricultural residues by means of a patented thermochemical process. Like fossil oil, liquid lignin can be used as a platform for fuel, chemical and material applications.

“Our goal is to offer competitive, sustainable products to cost and environmentally conscious customers worldwide; a model inspired by no-frills disrupters in other industries that today are among the most profitable in their sector. This investment will bring us closer to reaching this goal in close cooperation with our committed team, our investors, and our partners.” Michael Boot Co-founder & CEO at Vertoro.

The investment in Vertoro is the third investment in the fuels of the future from Maersk Growth in less than two months. In September Maersk Growth invested in WasteFuel, a start-up focused on turning waste into sustainable aviation fuel, green bio-methanol, and renewable natural gas. Later followed the investment in Prometheus which is developing a direct air capture-technology to enable cost efficient, carbon neutral electro fuels.

These investment activities underline how Maersk Growth has added green fuels as an additional sub-investment theme under their overall umbrella of supply chain investments. Furthermore, these investments are part of the A.P. Moller – Maersk journey to become carbon neutral by 2050. Maersk recently announced a total of nine vessels capable of running on green methanol.

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Swire Group joins Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

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Swire Group joins Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping. Image: Swire
Swire Group joins Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping. Image: Swire
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John Swire & Sons Limited, the parent company of the Swire Group, and Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping signed a partnership agreement, committing to a long-term strategic collaboration around the development of safe and sustainable decarbonisation solutions for the maritime industry.

As a strategic partner, John Swire & Sons will be closely involved with the Center team and provide support in realising the Center’s transition strategy. Working together, they will explore opportunities to fund and research practical solutions to accelerate decarbonisation in the shipping industry.

John Swire & Sons will also join the Center Advisory Board guiding and contributing to the future development of the Center activities. As a multidisciplinary group Swire brings expertise across a diverse range of sectors and geographies, as well as valuable insights into regulatory and financing services.

In welcoming John Swire & Sons to the Center, CEO Bo Cerup-Simonsen says: “We welcome Swire to the Center with open arms and have great expectations of what we will achieve together. As a diversified company Swire brings experience and knowhow from a wide range of segments and can help us bridge learnings across disciplines and sectors which is essential when you are changing an entire business system.
We have a shared commitment to fight climate change through innovative and forward-looking solutions and I look very much forward to the collaboration!”

Sam Swire, Director of John Swire & Sons Limited says, “Next year, the Swire Group will have been involved in shipping for 150 years. Becoming a partner in the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping is an exciting step for us. We are committed to a sustainable shipping industry and this partnership allows us to work together with like-minded organisations to help the industry achieve that goal. Together with our partners at the Center, we will collectively address decarbonisation issues, develop new technologies and
exchange views on sustainability best practices at an industry level. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Center.”

Shipping’s road map to decarbonisation

With 70.000 ships consuming m300Tons fuel p.a. global shipping accounts for around 3% of global carbon emissions, a share that is likely to increase as other industries tackle climate emissions in the coming decades.

Achieving the long-term target of decarbonisation requires new fuel types and a systemic change within the industry. Shipping is a globally regulated industry, which provides an opportunity to secure broad-based industry adoption of new technology and fuels.

To accelerate the development of viable technologies a coordinated effort within applied research is needed across the entire supply chain. Industry leaders play a critical role in ensuring that laboratory research is successfully matured to scalable solutions matching the needs of industry. At the same time, new legislation will be required to enable the transition towards decarbonisation.

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