US sustainable energy start-up Amogy last week announced plans to unveil an ammonia-powered, zero-emission tugboat in late 2023. It would be a significant landmark in the net-zero transition of the shipping sector, with ammonia forecast to become the leading fuel source for cargo ships by 2050. The hard-to-abate shipping sector currently contributes around 3% to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Shipping currently contributes around 3% to global greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo by Kevin Phillips via Getty Images)

Amogy is retrofitting a 1957 tugboat running on diesel generators and electric motors with its ammonia-to-power system. The 1MW system is three times larger than the version tested in the company’s ammonia-fuelled semi truck, launched earlier this year. Amogy’s technology feeds liquid ammonia into cracking modules to produce hydrogen, which is then fed into a fuel cell to power the ship’s electric motors. 

Ammonia does not emit CO2 when used as a fuel. And green ammonia, which is made with renewable energy, results in zero GHG emissions from “well to wake” – the sum of upstream (well-to-tank) and downstream (tank-to-wake) emissions.

“We’re incredibly proud of unveiling the first ammonia-powered vessel later this year – especially because of the hope, promise and anticipation that ammonia has built as a zero-emission fuel in the heavy transportation industry – specifically in regards to maritime shipping,” said Seonghoon Woo, Amogy’s CEO, in a press statement. 

“This is the first milestone of many you will see from Amogy in accelerating the accessibility and scalability of clean energy in the global maritime industry. With successful demonstrations of our ammonia-powered drone, tractor and semi-truck under our belts, we look forward to presenting the first ammonia-powered ship in 2023, with a target to fully commercialize in 2024.”

The retrofitted tugboat will be taking an initial voyage in an inland waterway in New York, fuelled by green ammonia from Yara Clean Ammonia, part of Yara, the fertiliser company, and one of the world’s largest ammonia producers.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.