New e-fuels project to make international shipping climate neutral

New e-fuels project to make international shipping climate neutral

2024/02/08

A groundbreaking initiative, the €17 million European GAMMA project, aims to revolutionize international shipping by developing and transforming a bulk carrier into a vessel powered by climate-neutral fuels and green energy. Led by Verkís, the project involves a consortium of companies and researchers from Europe. The bulk carrier, with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes dead weight, will serve as a case study for the project, showcasing the potential for a greener maritime industry.

The GAMMA project, initiated in January 2024, seeks to address the environmental impact of ocean freight transport, which heavily relies on fossil fuels. The goal is to retrofit the bulk carrier with innovative technologies, demonstrating the feasibility of replacing auxiliary generators with a new fuel system powered by e-fuels, making a significant contribution to achieving climate targets set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for a net-zero industry by 2050.

The project involves collaboration among 16 partners from Europe, aiming to integrate new green technologies without compromising the ship's operational capabilities. Partners include Aurelia, a start-up specializing in climate-friendly vessel design, and Fraunhofer Institute, providing conversion technology. The innovative fuel system includes the use of ammonia and green methanol, which will be converted into hydrogen through advanced technologies. A fuel cell will then transform the hydrogen into electricity, replacing the need for auxiliary generators running on fossil fuels.

As part of this eco-friendly initiative, a portion of the energy required for hydrogen conversion will be sourced from renewable energy.

Solbian will provide all the PV panels installed on the hatch covers of the bulk carrier, soaking up the sun and contributing to the vessel's green energy production.

To assess the environmental performance of the technologies involved, Politecnico di Milano will conduct a well-to-wake analysis, calculating CO2 emissions throughout the project. The GAMMA project holds the potential to not only transform international shipping but also serve as a model for green innovations in other transportation sectors, fostering climate-friendly practices and contributing to growth and employment in Europe.

Partners

VerkísANT TopicFraunhofer, AureliaBallardSea Green EngineeringEnergy ClusterSINTEF, Amethyste, Elkon ElektrikPolitecnico di MilanoARM EngineeringRINAAmnis Pura

Design: Tembo