ZeroCoaster Consortium’s ammonia-fuelled cargo ship design has obtained approval in principle (AiP) from Norway-based classification society DNV.

This assessment confirms that the design of the vessel is viable and can be realised commercially.

Spearheaded by Vard Engineering Brevik, the ZeroCoaster Consortium comprises ABB, Trosvik Maritime, Sintef Ocean and HK Shipping.

The consortium aims to design coastal cargo vessels that will drive the transition to zero-emission shipping technologies and has secured financial backing from the Norwegian Government.

To reach 2030 decarbonisation goals for the shipping sector, Norway will need 1,100 green vessels, including 450 bulk carrier cargo ships of the type conceived by ZeroCoaster.

AFC Energy has been selected to supply its hydrogen fuel cell and ammonia cracker technology for the new vessels.

In June, AFC Energy started collaborating with Vard, ABB and other ZeroCoaster partners on the development of a ‘modularised’ bulk carrier cargo ship propulsion solution that could be driven by green ammonia.

AFC Energy’s new ‘S’ Series heavy-duty marinised platform will host two 600kW alkaline fuel cell systems, along with ammonia cracking technology within 40ft containers.

Going forward, Vard will hold commercial talks with potential customers for the purchase of the new ammonia-powered vessels.

The ZeroCoaster coastal bulk cargo programme focuses on assessing and providing zero-emission ship design solutions by utilising substitute maritime fuelling systems, such as green ammonia.

Financed by the Research Council of Norway, this programme will now work towards the storage, handling and cracking of green ammonia fuel to produce hydrogen.

This hydrogen will later be used within AFC Energy’s clean alkaline fuel cell system for propulsion and auxiliary power.

Recently, DNV unveiled a competence standard for ship remote control centre operators (RCCO).