New European Consortium Aims to Develop a Carbon-Neutral Bulker

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Published Mar 3, 2024 5:34 PM by Gemini News


Research scientists from 16 countries are joining forces to make a bulk carrier climate-neutral – all with the help of a new power train.

Long-distance transport by sea accounts for between 80 and 90 percent of all global trade. The enormous cargoes being transported across the world’s oceans in bulk carriers demand huge volumes of fuel, most of which are fossil fuels.

The potential for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by switching to greener fuels is thus very great.  For this reason, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set itself the target of reducing GHG emissions in the maritime sector to net zero by 2050. 

SINTEF in Norway is currently participating in a new EU-funded innovation project called GAMMA that may be able to contribute towards establishing a sustainable energy system for the shipping sector. The project was launched in January 2024, involving 16 European companies and research centers.

The aim of the project is to remodel a bulk carrier to enable it to run on climate-neutral fuels. A key task will be to install a new fuel system that will convert ammonia and green methanol into hydrogen. The vessel will employ fuel cell technology to generate electricity from the fuel, and some of the energy needed to manufacture the hydrogen will be generated by solar energy.

SINTEF will be participating in the development and implementation of a hybrid power train, consisting of biofuels and fuel cells, combined with batteries.

The GAMMA project has a budget of $18 million and is being headed by the Icelandic engineering company Verkís.

GAMMA stands for ‘Green AMmonia and biomethanol fuel MAritime vessels’. The project is being funded via the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).

The 16 project partners include industrial companies and research centers from a number of different European countries. As well as developing and testing the technology, the project will also be evaluating the innovative fuel chain and total CO2 emissions.

Among many others, the project partners include Verkís (Iceland), Fraunhofer (Germany), Aurelia (Netherlands), Ballard (Denmark), SINTEF (Norway), Elkon Elektrik (Turkey) and RINA (Germany).

This article appears courtesy of SINTEF and may be found in unabridged form here

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.