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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 

Norwegian companies Econnect Energy and Amon Maritime have launched a joint venture, to be known as Azane Fuel Solutions, which it is said will fill an existing gap in the ammonia fuel value chain by developing ammonia ship bunkering infrastructure technology, products and services.

Morten Christophersen, CEO Econnect Energy. said: "Azane Fuel Solutions will help realise our ambition to accelerate the green shift to zero-carbon shipping solutions. Together we are forward-thinking companies with extensive maritime and energy experience to develop the systems and infrastructure for safe and efficient ammonia bunkering."

Azane Fuel Solutions will develop flexible ammonia fuel bunkering terminals to remove the existing barriers for implementing ammonia fuel. The new solutions will be capable of receiving fuel from ships, trucks and barges, in refrigerated or pressurised state and be optimised for ammonia-fuelled ships.

The shore-based option is suited to industrial ports and supply bases, allowing direct ship bunkering alongside the quay, or transfer to a bunkering barge. Larger versions of the system can function as bunkering storage terminals, serving a fleet of bunkering vessels. The floating option is said to be flexible and mobile, intended for the early years of the shift to ammonia fuel, when the first vessels may have to bring their own bunkering station to their most common ports of call. A floating bunkering terminal will retain its flexibility, and will be useful to bunker ships at anchorage.

"To enable the maritime green transition, new infrastructure must be established. Azane Fuel Solutions will focus on the bunkering part of the value chain and we see clear synergies with our on-going ammonia-powered ship projects," said André Risholm, CEO Amon Maritime.

Azane Fuel Solutions sees the Northern European market as a likely early adopter of ammonia fuel. There will be a substantial market potential on a global scale as the larger international deep-sea shipping market adopts ammonia fuel.

The company's first project is already underway. Together with project partners, spanning the entire value chain from ammonia production to consumption of ammonia as fuel on board vessels, the project will develop and demonstrate an ammonia fuel bunkering network for ships, enabling cost efficient and safe distribution, storage, transfer and utilization of ammonia as a carbon free fuel. The project aims to be the first in the World to pilot ammonia bunkering operations – taking the first step to enable a large-scale shift to carbon free fuel for ships.

The 'Ammonia fuel bunkering network' project will overcome significant R&D challenges, and considering the pioneering nature of the endeavour, the project is seeking necessary financial support from green governmental R&D grants.

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