RNS Number : 1166U
AFC Energy Plc
01 December 2021


01 December 2021

AFC Energy PLC

("AFC Energy" or the "Company")


AEM "S" Series Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Ammonia Cracker Selected for Norwegian ZeroCoaster's Bulk Cargo Ship Design

ZeroCoaster Consortium, Led by Vard and including ABB, Trosvik Maritime, SINTEF Ocean and HK Shipping Achieves AiP Milestone from DNV for Ammonia Fuel Cell Propelled Cargo Ship Design     


AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, is pleased to announce a milestone achievement set to unlock adoption of Ammonia and high energy dense alkaline fuel cell technology in the multi-billion-dollar effort to decarbonise the global maritime industry.   


The ZeroCoaster programme is sponsored by the Norwegian Government and led by global shipping design and build partner Vard Engineering Brevik AS ("VARD").

Objective is to design next generation coastal cargo ships to accelerate the transition to zero-emission shipping solutions.

To meet 2030 decarbonisation targets for the shipping industry, Norway alone is expected to require 1,100 zero or low emission ships, including 450 bulk carrier cargo ships of the type envisaged by ZeroCoaster.

AFC Energy began work with VARD, ABB and ZeroCoaster partners in June 2021 to design and engineer a modularised bulk carrier cargo ship propulsion system fuelled with green ammonia.

The technology chosen for the ship's 1.2MW power requirement was AFC Energy's new "S" Series heavy duty marinised platform which is expected to host 2 x 600kW of alkaline fuel cell systems plus ammonia cracking technology within modular 40ft containers.

International certification agency, DNV, has now awarded "Approval in Principle" (or "AiP") status for the ZeroCoaster ammonia fuelled cargo ship, confirming an independent assessment that the ship's design is feasible and there are no obstacles to the design being commercially realised.

VARD will now commence commercial discussions with prospective customers for the purchase of new ammonia fuelled ships, featuring AFC Energy's marinised fuel cell and cracker module.



The ZeroCoaster programme, coordinated by VARD, a major global ship design and ship build company, aims to evaluate and present zero emission ship design solutions using alternative maritime fuelling systems, including Green Ammonia.


The Norwegian focussed ZeroCoaster coastal bulk cargo programme further seeks to highlight novel zero emission solutions capable of scaling and reconfiguring existing and new maritime applications.


The programme, funded by the Research Council of Norway, is being conducted using an already developed concept design for the ZeroCoaster cargo ship prepared by VARD, but in this case, is looking to develop design and engineering philosophies that will enable the storage, handling and cracking of Green Ammonia fuel to generate hydrogen which is then utilised within a zero-emission alkaline fuel cell system supplied by AFC Energy for propulsion and auxiliary power. 


Norway has set targets to reduce emissions with 50% reductions by 2030, with a growing national demand for zero emission vessels along the Norwegian coast.  With this focus, up to 1,100 zero emission (or low emission) ships will be required in Norway alone, with up to 450 bulk cargo ships required reflecting the ZeroCoaster concept design.


AFC Energy has been working with VARD, ABB and ZeroCoaster partners since June 2021 with the emphasis on integrating a modular, containerised Ammonia cracker design from AFC Energy, alongside the Company's proprietary high energy dense "S" Series fuel cell technology to create a fully marinised power generator fuelled by zero carbon Green Ammonia.  The design is capable of both retrofit and new build craft. 


Green Ammonia has been highlighted as a key fuel to support the decarbonisation of the global maritime industry with estimates suggesting the fuel could be used to decarbonise up to 25-30% of maritime fleets.  As an alkaline fuel, adoption of AFC Energy marinised alkaline fuel cell and cracker modules aim to enable a highly efficient, low-cost power solution to displace incumbent bunker fuel. 


By using simulation-driven-ship design, VARD has developed economic and technical key performance indicators for the adoption of Green Ammonia and fuel cell technologies on ships.


DNV, one of the world's leading classification and certification bodies in the maritime industry, and partner to the ZeroCoaster programme, has now evaluated the design and integration of the alkaline fuel cell module with in-built cracker and concluded that the design complies with all relevant maritime rules, regulations and standards. 


Better known as "Approval in Principle" ("AiP"), DNV's positive assessment of the ZeroCoaster design marks another key milestone in unlocking the vast potential of Green Ammonia as a zero-emission fuel within the maritime industry, alongside deployment of AFC Energy's marinised, high energy dense fuel cell platform and cracker module.  The AiP confirms the design is feasible and that there are no obstacles that could prevent the solution from being realised.


Andreas Buskop, General Manager, Engineering at Vard Engineering Brevik AS, said: "VARD has long shown leadership in maritime design and innovation with a focus of accelerating the transition to zero emission.  We strongly believe in the role Green Ammonia will play in supporting industry's aspirations to "go green", and working alongside industry leaders in alkaline fuel cell technology, AFC Energy, we are pleased to have gained confirmation of our AiP from DNV, highlighting what we understand to be a world first in ship design for ammonia fuel cell and cracker utilisation.  We now look forward to further working with AFC Energy in taking this design to commercial fruition".

Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said: "The maritime industry's increasing reliance on Green Ammonia as a decarbonisation fuel lends itself perfectly to AFC Energy's high energy dense alkaline fuel cell technology.  Having worked in design concepts for the past six months on the marinisation of our integrated, heavy duty fuel cell and cracker technologies, we are pleased to have been invited to partner with world leading ship designers and builders such as VARD to highlight the potential for the safe and compliant propulsion and auxiliary powering of cargo ships as part of the ZeroCoaster project. Receipt of AiP from DNV is simply a confirmation and validation of the role our technology will play in supporting mariners to achieve stringent greenhouse reduction targets".


For further information, please contact:

AFC Energy plc

Adam Bond (Chief Executive Officer) 

+44 (0) 14 8327 6726

Peel Hunt LLP Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker

Richard Crichton / Tom Ballard / Alexander Allen

+44 (0) 207 418 8900


M C Peat & Co LLP - Joint Broker

Charlie Peat

+44 (0) 20 7104 2334

Zeus Capital LimitedJoint Broker

Daniel Harris (Corporate Finance)

Dominic King (Corporate Broking) / Rupert Woolfenden (Head of Sales)


+44 (0) 203 829 5000

FTI Consulting Financial PR Advisors

Sara Powell / Ben Brewerton

+44 (0) 203 727 1000




About AFC Energy

AFC Energy plc is commercialising scalable alkaline fuel cell systems, to provide clean electricity for on and off grid applications. The technology, pioneered over the past twelve years in the UK, is now deployable in electric vehicle chargers, off-grid decentralised power systems and data centre applications with emerging opportunities across maritime and rail as part of a portfolio approach to the decarbonisation of local electricity needs.


About Vard Engineering  

VARD boasts more than 8,000 employees worldwide, and operate shipbuilding facilities in its home country of Norway, as well as in Romania, Brazil, and Vietnam. VARD is majority owned by Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of FINCANTIERI S.p.A., one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups that over its 200 years history has delivered more than 7,000 vessels.

As well as providing high-end design and engineering services to the global maritime industry, through our specialized VARD subsidiaries the Group create and develop an outstanding range of advanced power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation solutions.


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