Norway’s Eidesvik Offshore has moved a step closer to a world-first in ammonia propulsion.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has confirmed the feasibility of the clean fuel system to be retrofitted on the 6,000-dwt platform supply vessel Viking Energy (built 2003).

The plan, part of the European Union-funded ShipFC project, was announced in January 2020.

The aim is to fit an ammonia fuel system and a large 2 MW solid oxide fuel cell onto the vessel.

This will allow it to sail long distances with no greenhouse gas emissions.

The company wants to demonstrate that long-range zero-carbon voyages are possible on larger ships.

“The Norwegian Maritime Authority has confidently issued a preliminary assessment … for their vessel Viking Energy,” said Ivar Ingvaldsen, NMA’s new maritime technology executive.

“This is one of the few vessels that have progressed this far in the approval process with us. The Norwegian Maritime Authority hopes this project marks the beginning of the green transition within the offshore segment,” he added.

The ShipFC project is being run by a consortium of 14 European companies and institutions, coordinated by the Norwegian organisation Maritime CleanTech.

Eidesvik has worked with Finnish engine maker Wartsila on the ship.

‘Important milestone’

The project is receiving €10m ($11.1m) funding from the European Union.

The PSV, chartered to Equinor, will be able to sail solely on the clean fuel for up to 3,000 hours annually, it has previously been reported.

“This is a very important milestone, recognising the significant work invested in the ShipFC project,” said Lars Vestbostad, technical development manager at Eidesvik.

“It demonstrates that everything we have planned in this pioneering project is feasible from a regulatory perspective.”

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