HeidelbergCement and agricultural cooperative Felleskjøpet AGRI, together with shipping company Egil Ulvan Rederi, have received support from Norwegian government enterprise Enova to build the world's first zero-emission bulk carrier. The vessel is scheduled for completion and commissioning in 2024.
The project, which was awarded the Heyerdahl Prize in 2021, has received a lot of publicity for its technical innovation and the ambitious commitment of the product owners.
The plan is to ship aggregates products for HeidelbergCement and grain for partner Felleskjøpet from West Norway to East Norway, and vice versa, using hydrogen powered transport.
In 2021, a tender competition was conducted where Egil Ulvan Rederi, as one of 31 applicants, was selected as the operator to build the vessel. The ship is highly energy efficient, using rotor sails and has a streamlined design to reduce energy consumption. It will be powered by hydrogen from Norwegian energy supplier Statkraft but will also have small auxiliary batteries and a fuel cell on board to maximize flexibility.
Grateful for the support
Giv Brantenberg, General Manager HeidelbergCement Northern Europe, is very appreciative that Enova has chosen to support the project. "The project addresses emissions from the transport part of our value chain, it is unique, ambitious and future-oriented. It is fully in line with HeidelbergCement Group's target to be the leading actor in our industry on the path to carbon neutrality."
HeidelbergCement estimates that the carbon footprint of the aggregates products can be reduced by 50-60 % by using the zero emission vessel, as transport accounts for a significant part of the total carbon footprint of these products.
Lars Erik Marcussen, project manager for maritime transport at HeidelbergCement Northern Europe, believes that the support from Enova - in total 114 million NOK - could have a major impact on future shipping.
"This is undoubtedly a major event for us and marks an important milestone for all stakeholders in the partnership. The support from Enova means that we can now start building the world's first zero-emission cargo ship. This will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but is likely to generate further innovation and development in the shipping segment", he says.
"Through this project, we are demonstrating the importance of seeking cooperation to achieve climate goals. The cooperation that we have now established through the Green Shipping Programme is something to be proud of," says Marcussen.