In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set an objective to reduce absolute GHG emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared with a 2008 baseline. To achieve this target and ultimately progress towards carbon neutrality in the sector by mid-century, in line with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C, shipping will need to go beyond operational and energy efficiency and deploy zero-emission fuels and propulsion technologies.
Given the 20-30-year lifetime of vessels and other industry assets, the maritime sector must therefore ensure that zero-emission vessels are operating on a commercial scale on deep-sea trade routes by 2030. An analysis for the Getting to Zero Coalition estimated that achieving long-term decarbonization objectives would require that zero-emission fuels make up 5% of the international fuel mix by that point. To reach these objectives, accelerating investments in zero emission fuels and technologies will be crucial.
Key measures to strengthen the business case
- Some in-kind contributions/financial concessions to reduce the risks of cost overruns.
- Vessel design optimization to minimize the cost related to ammonia fuel storage.
- A long-term chartering contract or joint venture to decrease the risk of ship ownership.
- Dual fuel capabilities to decrease the exposure to fuel supply risks.
- A transition strategy from grey NH3 to green NH3 that is aligned with access to subsidies and premia and reflected in the risk sharing in the chartering contract/joint venture.
The Nordic region is in a unique position to pioneer ammonia-powered shipping. Already home to plentiful renewable energy, large-scale ammonia production, and some of the world’s leading shipping companies and engine manufacturers, the Nordic region has an opportunity to build the value chain for ammonia-powered shipping on an accelerated timetable. The NoGAPS project brings together key players in the value chain for a Nordic-based ammonia-powered vessel. Together this consortium has elaborated a concept for an ammonia-powered gas carrier, transporting ammonia as a cargo in Northern Europe and using zero-emission ammonia as a fuel.
This report was developed by Jesse Fahnestock, Kasper Søgaard, Elyse Lawson, and Heidi Kilemo at the Global Maritime Forum, together with Conor Fürstenberg Stott, and Sofia Fürstenberg Stott at Fürstenberg Maritime Advisory, and made possible through collaboration and multiple workshops with the consortium project partners.
The report is part of the NoGaps project, co-funded by Nordic Innovation under the Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity program.