Ammonia as a fuel

The initiative for this pilot was taken by Color Line. Although the company today has a modern fleet, including Color Hybrid – which is the world’s largest plug-in diesel-electric cruise ferry – further measures and new solutions are needed if the company is to meet both international and national emission reduction requirements by 2030. Ammonia may be a possible future fuel for shipping. It is also possibly the most promising, well-known alternative for achieving climate-neutral shipping. The assumption for this is that ammonia is produced in a climate neutral way.

Ammonia does not contain carbon and does not emit CO2, but ammonia represents other challenges. The substance is toxic and corrosive. Risk analysis and cost-benefit assessments for possible solutions and future use will be key challenges.

Goal of pilot project

The goal of this pilot is to conduct a technical and economic study to examine the challenges and possibilities of using ammonia as fuel – in whole or in part – on at least one of Color Line’s existing vessels.


The pilot was launched in December 2019. The work – to shed light on potential barriers, such as the environmental footprint, security aspects, technological solutions, costs and possible private and public financing solutions – is complete. The pilot study could not identify any technical or safety barriers that could not be solved. The pilot is under assessment for realization. The pilot has also launched an activity that  developed a publicly available handbook for the use of ammonia as a maritime fuel, see the updated handbook here (2023).

An important area for further discussion and in depth understanding of Ammonia as fuel is the bunkering hazards. Hence, a high level QRA (Quantitative Risk Assessment) for different alternative bunkering solutions was carried out. The results are presented in the report “Ammonia bunkering of passenger vessel – concept quantitative risk assessment“.

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