A new project called GAMMA, funded with €17 million from the European Union, is set to revolutionize international shipping by making it climate-neutral. Spearheaded by European companies and researchers, GAMMA aims to develop and convert a bulk carrier to run on climate-neutral fuels and green power.
The bulk carrier chosen for the project, operated by TOPIC Fleet, has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes dead weight, highlighting the significant potential for reducing emissions in ocean freight transport. Currently, this sector heavily relies on fossil fuels.
The GAMMA project, launched in January 2024, involves a consortium of partners working towards this goal. Led by Icelandic engineering company Verkís, the project aims to retrofit the bulk carrier with innovative technologies to demonstrate the feasibility of replacing auxiliary generators with a new fuel system running on e-fuels.
The initiative aligns with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector by 2050. With long-distance maritime transport supporting a vast majority of global trade, converting ocean-going vessels to green fuels holds significant promise for meeting these targets.
One of the key technologies involved in the GAMMA project is an innovative fuel system that converts ammonia and green methanol into hydrogen, which then powers a fuel cell to provide electricity to the vessel. This system will replace the use of auxiliary generators running on fossil fuels.
Partners in the project include Fraunhofer Institute, Amnis Pura, Ballard Power Systems Europe, and Solbian, each contributing their expertise to various aspects of the conversion technology.