Wärtsilä, along with Norway-based Höegh LNG and other partners, Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), University of South-East Norway, Sustainable Energy, and BASF SE, has received funding from the Norwegian Government totaling roughly EUR 5.9 million.
The money is for the development of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier for the energy market and is part of Norway’s Green Platform strategy. It amounts to almost half of the entire budget for the joint project.
The initiative aims to increase the availability of large-scale clean energy storage and transportation capabilities. Hydrogen is gaining traction as a promising future fuel for addressing the transition away from fossil fuels. However, due to its low volumetric energy density and potential for substantial vaporisation losses, it is difficult to store and transfer. Ammonia is far superior to hydrogen for this purpose since it can be stored in liquid form at moderate pressures and temperatures. The project’s goal is to enable ammonia to be converted back to hydrogen at the receiving location.
‘Green’ ammonia is produced as a carbon-neutral renewable energy carrier by electrolysis of water and nitrogen from the air. When the energy is consumed, the significant emission reduction impact will reflect this green strategy. Green ammonia functions as a liquid battery with a high energy density when compared to other alternatives for renewable energy storage and transportation. The infrastructure for large-scale ammonia transport at sea already exists in the form of a fleet of petrol tankers carrying ammonia on their cargo lists.
The project’s goal is to create a technology that converts ammonia back to hydrogen and will be put onboard a Höegh LNG vessel. This will result in a floating receiving terminal that can be relocated as needed, requiring little use of coastal land and resulting in a solution with a cheaper total cost, enhanced safety, and competitive hydrogen prices.