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Design Studies Start for Ammonia Maritime Fuel Production in Norway

green ammonia production plant for maritime use
Sauda, Norway with its natural harbor and abundant natural resources was chose for the site of the production plant (Hy2gen)

Published Feb 3, 2022 6:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

Design and engineering studies are getting underway as the next step in building a green ammonia production facility to produce fuel for the maritime sector. According to the investment group, the facility known as Iverson eFuels AS could begin production by as early as 2027. 

Commodities and energy trading group Trafigura announced that it is joining with Danish renewable energy infrastructure investors Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Germany’s Hy2gen to invest in the development and construction of the facility which is to be on the southwestern coast of Norway. The consortium plans to invest significant capital in the production, storage, and shipping facility as they seek to be one of the first large-scale sites for the production and shipping of the emerging alternative fuel. The Iverson project is also supported by Agenda Vest and the UllaFørre fund.

“We will produce green ammonia through electrolysis technology, using clean electricity to provide green ammonia for vessels, and thereby contributing to minimize emissions for maritime transportation,” said Gunnar Gauthun, Hy2gen´s Hub Coordinator for the project in Sauda, Norway.

The Iverson project will have an initial electrolyzer capacity of 240 megawatts to produce 600 metric tons of green ammonia per day, with the aim to significantly scale up production in the future. The green ammonia will supply the shipping industry with a zero-carbon alternative marine fuel to traditional fossil fuels.

“When we started looking for a location for our green ammonia plant in Norway, Sauda emerged as the epitome,” says Cyril Dufau-Sansot, CEO of the Hy2gen Group. “The accessibility to abundant green energy from hydropower, a good harbor for exports, an attractive production site, a long regional industry history, and above all, the positive reception of the local authorities and businesses, encouraged us to choose Sauda as the future home of Iverson eFuels AS in Norway.”

Together with Norconsult, the partners report that a pre-study was completed in 2021 and that they have now started the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) phase. They expect it will result in a full plan for the construction of the facility by 2023. Following a final investment decision, the commencement of construction is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, and the facility will be fully operational at the beginning of 2027.

“Availability of zero-emission alternative fuels such as green ammonia is an important pre-requisite to decarbonizing the global shipping industry,” notes Rasmus Bach Nielsen, Trafigura’s Global Head of Fuel Decarbonisation. Trafigura has been moving forward aggressively to be at the forefront of the new energy economy but he notes the range of challenges that still are ahead for the development of the sector.  “We also urgently need global policy-makers to cost neutralize the use of zero-carbon fuels through carbon pricing measures to drive demand and enable to radically reduce emissions.”

Hy2gen launched its Norwegian company in 2019 and Trafigura recognized the key future role and potential for the industrial production of green hydrogen and ammonia joined in as an early investor. In the summer of 2021, Hy2gen and Trafigura agreed to collaborate on a study aimed at quantifying the needs of the shipping industry for green ammonia as the industry transitions to low and zero-carbon maritime fuels. The study considered the necessary aspects to enable large-scale commercial adoption, including the required quantities of green ammonia, and the transport and storage capacities that will be needed to meet the needs of the maritime industry.