Yara and NCL join forces for ammonia container ship

The fertilizer manufacturer Yara does not want to operate ships autonomously in future, but with ammonia as fuel. The right design for a container ship is already available.

Yara has teamed up with NorthSea Container Line (NCL) to build the world’s first container ship that will run exclusively on ammonia as fuel. The future “Yara Eyde” with a capacity of 1,300 TEU will operate between Oslo and Brevik in Norway and Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany.

The two Norwegian companies have founded a joint venture. The aim is to build and operate further ships after the “Yara Ede”. “The world is in the midst of a climate crisis and we need to reduce emissions quickly. The ‘Yara Eyde’ will be the world’s first ammonia container ship,” says Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara International. From 2026, Norwegian companies will be able to export or import their goods via a “green” shipping corridor.

Yara supplies cargo and ammonia

The ammonia required comes from the production of Yara, which claims to be the world’s largest producer. The company, which previously launched the “Yara Birkeland“, the first semi-autonomous container ship, wants to create a market for ammonia and strategically invest in the development of this production and logistics segment.

Together with Azane Fuel Solutions, a storage and bunkering network is to be established to make clean ammonia available in Scandinavian ports. Enova and Innovation Norway are supporting the first pilot projects.

If ammonia is produced from renewable energy or with natural gas, where up to 95% ofCO2 emissions are captured and permanently stored, ammonia could become a good solution for reducing carbon emissions in the maritime sector, it continues. The “Yara Eyde” saves around 11,000 tons ofCO2 per year on the route between Norway and Germany,” says Holsether.

NCL is also a partner of MPC

NCL is not unknown in Germany either. Last year, NCL had already joined forces with the Hamburg-based MPC Group. Together they ordered two 1,300 TEU container ships designed by Sdari with methanol propulsion from Taizhou Sanfu.

A shipyard has not yet been commissioned to build the ammonia ship; this is due to take place in the first half of 2024. The industry service Alphaliner assumes that this will be done via a tonnage provider who will charter the feeder to NCL on a long-term basis.

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