Yara announced the world’s first ammonia-powered container ship

Yara Clean Ammonia, NorthSea Container Line, and Yara International are collaborating to launch the world’s first container ship fueled by clean ammonia. Named “Yara Eyde,” the vessel is set to operate between Norway and Germany, establishing the first emission-free maritime route to the continent.

The initiative responds to the ongoing climate crisis, emphasizing the urgency of collaborative efforts across industries to reduce emissions. This green journey began with the Yara Birkeland, the world’s first autonomous electric container ship. Now, the Yara Eyde is poised to take the lead as the pioneer in clean ammonia-fueled maritime transport.

Yara Eyde’s operation will encompass the trade corridor between Norway and Europe, covering routes between Oslo, Brevik, Hamburg, and Bremerhaven. Starting in 2026, Norwegian companies can export their products via an emission-free channel, while goods can be imported to Norway without any carbon footprint.

There’s a growing demand among shippers to lower emissions. The ship offers both competitive and emission-free logistics to all shippers in the Oslo Fjord and Greenland region, says Bente Hetland of North Sea Container Line.

With its established position as the world’s leading ammonia company, Yara International has a unique opportunity to scale its business areas by venturing into new market segments, primarily shipping. While Yara’s participation in this project aims to demonstrate the potential of this new market segment, its strategic focus will remain on developing production and logistics segments rather than ship ownership.

Yara Clean Ammonia will supply Yara Eyde with either fossil-free or nearly carbon-free ammonia. In partnership with Azane Fuel Solutions, a storage and bunkering network is being developed to make clean ammonia available in Norwegian and, eventually, Scandinavian ports. This network aligns with Norway’s goals to reduce emissions from the offshore sector.

To ensure the highest safety and quality standards, Yara will leverage its extensive experience with ammonia. This ensures that the production, storage, and bunkering of clean ammonia occur without any adverse impact on the crew or the environment.

Maritime transport accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions, amounting to 706 million tons of CO2 globally in 2022. Clean ammonia can significantly reduce emissions from shipping, enabling goods to be transported globally without emissions.

Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer contributes to feeding 48 million people worldwide. The production represents 3% of mainland exports. Now, it will be transported emission-free from Herøya to the continent, reducing scope 3 emissions by 11,000 tons of CO2 annually. The project showcases the potential of ammonia in achieving cost-effective and eco-friendly maritime transport.

The realization of the world’s first ammonia-powered container ship requires collaboration. A joint venture between Yara Clean Ammonia AS and NorthSea Container Line AS has been established to operate the Yara Eyde. Upon its establishment, the joint venture aims to become the world’s first line operator focusing exclusively on ammonia-powered container ships. The Yara Eyde has been granted just over NOK 40 million ($3.62 million) by Enova, which is vital for the project’s realization. Establishing the joint venture and the ship’s order depends on finalizing binding agreements and obtaining necessary approvals from authorities.

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