Agreement means ammonia availability in Europe for Höegh Autoliners
Höegh Autoliners announced recently that its newbuildings on order would be ammonia dual-fuelled, either built ready to use the fuel, or at least easily retrofitted to use it later on, but using traditional marine oils at first.
The problem, similar to any ship owner making leaps into a new green fuel future, is there is none of its chosen fuel available, certainly not at the volumes needed.
Whether it is hydrogen, ammonia, or methanol, switching to these fuels requires having them available at the ports the vessels call at, when they call.
The Norwegian company has now signed an offload agreement with fellow Norwegian company North Ammonia to get that fuel, even though North Ammonia is not yet producing it.
But this is a partnership aimed at the future. The new vessels for Höegh Autoliners are known as the Aurora class and will be the largest the company has had built. There are eight of them on order, with delivery scheduled from the second half of 2024, with two vessels every six months.
North Ammonia is a partnership between two Norwegian firms, the Grieg group, specifically Grieg Edge, and Vergia. Vergia is an investor in energy businesses and is itself owned by Arendels Fossekompani, a listed investment company focused on energy and digitalisation companies.
It is in Arendel, located on the southern tip of Norway, that North Ammonia plans to build a green ammonia plant. The preparatory work involves building production, storage and export infrastructure. The investment aim is for ammonia production to start in 2027 and up to 1000,000 tons to be produced annually.
The companies say the ammonia will likely be shipped to the Amsterdam -Rotterdam- Antwerp area for bunkering, likely using Grieg’ planned ammonia bunkering vessels.
The Arendal ammonia project is not the only plans Grieg group is involved in. Last year Grieg edge said it was working with ExxonMobil to develop the energy giant’s Slagen terminal with North Ammonia and another company it has invested in, GreenH. GreenHand Grieg are also involved in a hydrogen production project in Bodo in the country’s north.