An "FPSO" for Green Ammonia Wins Approval in Principle

Illustration courtesy H2Carrier

Published Aug 30, 2022 7:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

Green ammonia is one of shipping's best long-term bets for carbon-neutral propulsion on deep-sea routes, and it could be produced at sea too, if Norwegian startup H2Carrier succeeds. The company has designed a novel floating production and storage system for green ammonia, dubbed the P2XFloater, which takes in renewable electricity from any economical source and transforms it into the gaseous fuel. As of today, the idea has approval in principle from DNV. 

H2Carrier says that the concept draws on proven FPSO technology, married to standard equipment for making green hydrogen and turning that hydrogen into ammonia. The system was designed and refined in consultation with Norwegian process engineering and ofshore companies. H2Carrier wants to build, own and operate a fleet of P2XFloaters.

"The AiP covers all aspects of the integrated vessel concept including structural integrity, mooring, ammonia production, ammonia storage and cargo handling," said DNV’s Vice President, Business Development for Floating Production, Conn Fagan. "The AiP assessment has looked at the technical challenges associated with offshore ammonia production and has concluded that there are no insurmountable difficulties to preclude future classification of the design."

The idea of the P2XFloater concept is to provide a low-cost, fast-track, flexible solution to make green ammonia on an industrial scale and at a competitive price, according to Mårten Lunde, CEO of H2Carrier. The maritime industry and other industrial consumers would be the primary customers for the fuel. 

The production platform is power source-agnostic: it could draw on hydropower, solar, wind or any combination of electrical generating sources. The units could be positioned to take advantage of low-cost energy opportunities, including options that can't be commercially developed using ordinary means.

H2Carrier's plan is to develop its plants as vessel conversions, using very large gas carriers as the base vessels. This avoids the cost and carbon of a newbuild, while adding more economic life onto an existing hull. The approach is standard for FSO vessels, which typically begin life as VLCCs.

H2Carrier says that it is already involved in energy generation projects in Scotland and Northern Norway, and it expects demand for its product to climb as the pressure to decarbonize rises.