Alt Fuel Concept Sees Role for Automated Bunkering

Thursday May 30, 2019

A group of companies is taking a serious look at using renewable marine fuel generated from windfarms to power a fleet of shortsea vessels.

The idea comes from Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS), a shipping and engineering consortium including Finland's Wartsila, Norway's Equinor and Denmark's DFDS, according to marine news provider Marine Propulsion.

Windfarms would generate electricty which could be stored as hydrogen or ammonia. These fuels have a drawback in that large volumes are required to be carried onboard.

To get round this problem, the plan proposes a series of offshore windfarms strategically located from a re-fuelling point-of-view.   With fuel available at relatively short intervals, the need for large onboard fuel tanks is superfluous.

Bunkering would be by an automated bunker vessel.  One suggestion would see 75 wind turbines producing 2,500 metric tonnes of ammonia a day which could fuel 65 shortsea vessels, the report said.

The ZEEDS idea is at the drawing board stage and would most likely need some form of state support to get off the ground.