Norways Prime Minister Erna Solberg together with Bernt Skeie (Prototech), Willie Wågen (Sustainable Energy catapult centre), Magnar Aaland (Alltec Services), Svein Arild Tveten (Future Energy Solutions), Paul Atherton (The Switch) and Hege Økland (NCE Maritime CleanTech).

The Norwegian Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre with partners is investing NOK 200 million in the world’s first full-scale test centre for new energy carriers such as hydrogen and ammonia. The centre will help secure Norway’s leading position within green shipping.

The major initiative was launched by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on 1 October. The new centre will be based at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s maritime test centre in Stord, Norway. The building will be ready at the start of 2021 and will house facilities for the testing of e.g. high-voltage solutions, ammonia and hydrogen. Construction work commences this autumn.

Alltec Services, a supplier of services to the gas industry, will become the new owner of the building and will make significant investments in the upgrade. The Sustainable Energy partners Prototech, Future Energy Solutions and The Switch become partners and will provide expertise, technology and infrastructure for testing. The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway (Siva) contributes with investment funding through the Sustainable Energy Catapult and the Catapult programme will ensure that the new centre is available to national and international parties seeking to test new technology.

Important for competitiveness
The global shipping industry has committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and is faced with increasingly stringent demands for more sustainable operations from both governments and various capital interests. Over the coming years, a number of new solutions for low and zero emission fuels must be developed and scaled to meet these targets.

Norway is currently a leader within green shipping. In order to retain this position, the industry requires good test facilities to strengthen the emerging supplier industry that is working on developments in this field.

– The new centre will provide the industry with access to test facilities for future fuels that are not available anywhere else in the world. Here, small and large businesses alike can hire facilities to test individual components and complete systems and get help bringing products to market faster. The investment will therefore have plenty of impact on the future competitiveness of Norwegian industry,” says Willie Waagen, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre.

Several projects are queuing up to start using the new facilities. These include the EU project ShipFC, in which the Eidesvik vessel Viking Energy will be converted to run on green ammonia. In addition, Prototech will use the centre to test fuel cells for operation with fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia and LNG. The centre will also be key when Wärtsilä conducts the world’s first full-scale test of an ammonia engine in collaboration with energy company Repsol and shipping company Knutsen OAS.

– The fact that the centre is already experiencing high demand from several large lighthouse projects confirms the crucial role that Norwegian catapult centres play when it comes to developing the solutions of the future. The green transition involves major market opportunities for the companies that are quick off the mark when it comes to technological developments and we are excited to be able to contribute towards Norwegian industry taking a leading position in the green transition,” says Ingrid Riddervold Lorange, CEO of Siva.

– The new test centre represents a key milestone in Alltec Services’ shift from the oil and gas industry to a strong green profile. There are great business opportunities to be found in the green transition and we look forward to becoming a facilitator that can enable companies to develop the fuels of tomorrow,” says Magnar Aaland, CEO of Alltec Services.

About Norwegian Catapult
Norwegian Catapult is a programme that aims to contribute to the establishment and development of national test centres for the benefit of Norwegian business. At the centres, companies will be able to test new technology and new solutions so that they can move from the concept stage to market much more quickly. The programme is run by Siva in close collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway and is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Industry and Fisheries.