Mar 20, 2023 | Ship classification news, Ship design & naval architecture news

Bureau Veritas (BV) has issued an Approval in Principle (AIP) to Viridis Bulk Carriers, for a new initiative in zero carbon short sea bulk logistics by utilising ammonia as fuel.

The Viridis vessels, which are designed to support charterers’ cargo capacity needs, have similar sailing range as the current fleet of short sea bulk vessels, >3,000 naut mile, and to maintain the crew and societal safety at the level of conventional vessels. The approval is an important step towards being able to order the first series of vessels. Viridis expects to place orders for ships during 2023, with deliveries starting in 2025.

Herman Spilker, VP BV Marine & Offshore, North Europe, said: “We have developed the understanding required and the classification rules that help make safe innovation possible. Our notations and guidance for new fuels provide a key framework for the future. Bureau Veritas class approval in principle helps provide the confidence needed to support this ammonia as fuel project and we warmly welcome the initiative and ambition from Viridis Bulk Carriers as we work with our clients and partners to shape a better maritime world.”

The Viridis vessels have been designed in close collaboration with client partners and key suppliers. The company has collaborated with the eight charterers in the ‘Flexbulk NH3 Ammonia Power’ consortium project to ensure that cargo capacities and operational capabilities are as future-proof as the power technology and emissions reductions. The vessel design is by Kongsberg Maritime.

Einar Vegsund, Director Ship Design Solutions, Kongsberg Maritime, said: “Kongsberg Maritime is constantly seeking technologies for a greener ocean and has therefore taken a significant role in the FlexBulk project. We develop the fuel gas supply system (FGSS) and our Ship Design team is responsible for all aspects of the next generation bulk carrier design covering general arrangement, specification, hydrodynamics, stability, safety, machinery and electrical aspects. We are inspired by the Viridis Bulk Carriers strategy not to take a wait-and-see approach to decarbonisation but to partner with high-end clients who are making value-driven choices to reduce CO2 emissions for transportation of their products. We will use our experienced teams to ensure a strong focus on safety with special measures taken to limit the risk, ensuring it is similar to that found on conventional ships.“

Since the start of the Flexbulk consortium project considerable technical development, design iterations and optimising of the vessel design have been achieved. Ammonia-powered ships provide trading flexibility and are expected to have a significant impact on local pollutants and global CO2 emissions from shipping, in addition to reducing value chain emissions for food, fish feed, metals, fertiliser, construction and other industries which transport large bulk and special project cargo volumes.

Viridis Bulk Carriers is a consortium member of the Ammonia Fuel Bunkering Network, which will build a bunkering network in Scandinavia in collaboration with Yara. The first terminal will be delivered in 2024 as part of the Green Platform backed project. Yara has pre-ordered an additional 15 bunkering terminals for the Scandinavian market. This ensures delivery security for ammonia fuel to the Viridis Bulk Carriers fleet.

Espen Nordstrøm, Viridis Bulk Carriers said: “We are very pleased with the co-operation we have had with Bureau Veritas through the approval process. The approval in principle from Bureau Veritas is a major milestone for Viridis and will enable us to move towards the newbuilding phase. With EU and IMO increasing their emission reduction targets, the Viridis vessels will comply with these and be able to provide charterers with superior greenhouse gas reductions in their logistical value chain.”

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