Meriaura, Green NortH2 Energy and Wärtsilä have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the development of a cargo vessel that can operate on green ammonia.

Meriaura will order and operate the vessel, which will feature Wärtsilä’s modular multifuel main engines.

Under the LOI, Green NortH2 Energy will deliver green ammonia fuel generated using renewable electricity.

Expected to be delivered in 2024, the new vessel will begin operations using the green fuel in 2026.

Green ammonia is anticipated to play a significant role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry, meeting the energy requirements that cannot be catered to by battery technology, said Meriaura.

Along with Meriaura’s current open deck carriers, the new vessel will trade in the heavy project cargo segment.

Besides ammonia, the new vessel will also be able to run on bio-oil or marine diesel oil.

Meriaura chairman Jussi Mälkiä said: “This is a natural step in Meriaura’s future fleet portfolio, complementing the fuel mix together with our in-house biofuel (LBO) production.

“This collaboration supports our ongoing newbuilding program and carbon neutrality goals.”

The project is considered to be a continuation of the coordination for ship development between Elomatic, Green NortH2 Energy’s parent firm, and Meriaura, which was commenced for the renewal of lake Saimaa’s traffic.

The project was shifted from lake Saimaa to the sea due to Russia’s military incursion on Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Wärtsilä introduced a new medium-speed four-stroke engine to support the maritime sector achieve decarbonisation goals.