World’s first green ammonia dual-fuel box ship ordered

CMB.Tech has taken another leap forward in its decarbonisation journey to net-zero with an order for the world’s first ammonia-fuelled feeder box ship.

Set to operate between Norway and Germany, the 1,400-TEU ice-class box ship, to be named Yara Eyde, was ordered from China’s Qingdao Yangfan Shipbuilding for delivery mid-2026.

The ship will be owned by Delphis, the container division of CMB.Tech and operated by NCL Oslofjord AS, a joint venture between North Sea Container Line and Yara Clean Ammonia. Under a 15-year agreement announced in November 2023, the commercial operations will be managed by NCL, while Yara Clean Ammonia will deliver ammonia fuel for the vessel.

NCL Oslofjord has secured a long-term contract of affreightment with Yara International to transport containers between Yara’s fertiliser plant in Porsgrunn, Norway and Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Germany. NCL Oslofjord aims to become the world’s first line operator to focus exclusively on ammonia-powered ships.

Grants of just over Nkr40.0M (US$3.6M) from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment investment fund Enova propelled project partners NCL, Yara Clean Ammonia and its parent company Yara International to develop an ammonia-powered container vessel.

The new vessel, Yara Eyde, will trade between Norway and Europe on a route that includes Oslo and Brevik in Norway and Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany.

NCL chief executive Bente Hetland said her company sees CMB.Tech as the “ideal partner” to help fulfil that vision.

By leveraging their clean ammonia experience and investing in low-carbon ships, CMB.Tech chief executive Alexander Saverys said the partners “are walking the talk,” adding, “we want to prove to the world that we can decarbonise today to navigate tomorrow”.

Ammonia, NH3, is seen as an attractive alternative marine fuel because it does not contain carbon, and its slow-burning characteristics make it well suited for use in two-stroke, slow-speed engines. CMB.Tech has built a portfolio of experience in hydrogen-based fuels, developing an engine technology, as well as owning and operating vessels powered by hydrogen. In 2023, CMB.Tech struck a deal Swiss engine builder WinGD on the development of two-stroke ammonia dual-fuel engines, with some of the first large-bore X72DF engines being installed in a series of 10 210,000-dwt bulk carriers for Bocimar. Those vessels, under construction in China, will be the first ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers when they are delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Besides Yara Eyde, there are 13 ammonia dual-fuel vessels on order or under construction, including eight bulk carriers, three gas carriers and two tugs, according to DNV Alternative Fuels Insight.

Tags: CMB.TECH, Dual fuel, Green Ammonia, NCL Oslofjord AS
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