Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners: Backing Green Hydrogen-Based Ammonia For Shipping Fuel


  • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), one of Europe’s leading renewables investors, is banking on ammonia made with renewable hydrogen to become the primary green shipping fuel by 2040.
  • According to Jens Jødal Andersen, CIP’s Vice President for Marine Fuels, green ammonia will be cheaper to produce than green e-methanol.
  • The company anticipates renewable ammonia to dominate the green shipping fuel market due to its cost-effectiveness, scalability, and status as the sole zero-carbon fuel.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), one of the largest renewables investors in Europe, is betting on ammonia made with renewable hydrogen to be the primary green shipping fuel by 2040. With the global push for decarbonization, green ammonia is poised to become a crucial component of the shipping industry’s sustainable future.

Advantages of Green Ammonia

Jens Jødal Andersen, Vice President for Marine Fuels at CIP, states that green ammonia will be cheaper to produce than green e-methanol. “All things equal, green ammonia will be cheaper to produce than green e-methanol,” says Andersen. He adds that the biggest cost for both fuel types is power generation and electrolysis.

Challenges and Opportunities

Large, ocean-going vessels are widely expected to use both ammonia and methanol — whether green or blue (produced from hydrogen made with natural gas and carbon capture) — as well as some biofuels and perhaps synthetic methane made from renewable H2 and captured CO2. However, CIP expects renewable ammonia to have the largest share of the green shipping fuel market “as it is cheaper, scalable and the only zero-carbon fuel,” Andersen notes. The direct use of hydrogen or batteries to fuel ships will be limited, however, “due to the sheer size of the tank/batteries needed to propel larger ocean-going vessels,” Andersen says, although he adds that these could be an option for smaller boats.

Scalability and Market Dominance

CIP believes renewable ammonia to dominate the green shipping fuel market because it is cheaper, scalable, and the only zero-carbon fuel. The shipping industry is expected to be the largest consumer of green-hydrogen-based fuels, especially ammonia. While this could lead it to compete with other sectors that use the chemical, including fertilizers, Andersen predicts that production will be able to scale up to serve demand. “It is not limited by feedstock in the same way as the other clean fuels.”

Future of Green Hydrogen Projects

CIP has proposed several large-scale green hydrogen projects in Europe, such as the 1GW Åland Energy Island in Denmark or 2GW Project Catalina. However, Andersen lists locations such as western Australia, western Africa, southern part of South America — amongst others as the places where renewable H2 will be cheapest to produce. “Another factor is that you want to place your production close to a port from where it can be exported to the world market,” he adds. “There are many hurdles when developing what is pretty much a new industry, but many of the good locations are also quite remote and maybe underdeveloped, so authorities see an opportunity in attracting these new projects,” he said. “These are, at times, also referred to as ‘the new oil states’.”

Investments in Green Ammonia

While CIP is quiet on details of its green ammonia investments, it has already spent an undisclosed sum on a 26.67% stake in megaproject developer CWP, which is in the early stages of developing renewable NH3 projects in Mauritania, Morocco, and Australia. The Danish firm is also due to take a final investment decision on the 3GW Murchison green ammonia export project in Australia next year. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is making significant investments in the development and deployment of green ammonia, positioning itself at the forefront of the green shipping revolution.

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Source: Hydrogen Insight