Norwegian state enterprise Enova has pumped NOK 1.2bn ($114m) into ammonia and hydrogen shipping in its largest outlay ever in the maritime transport sector.

The awards were announced at a DNV event in Hovik attended by Norwegian climate and environment minister Andreas Bjelland Eriksen and came after what Enova described as tough competition from shipping companies.

Nine hydrogen-fuelled vessels and six ships powered by ammonia successfully won funding from Enova, the manager of the government’s climate and energy fund.

Subscribe to Green Seas
TradeWinds’ weekly newsletter on sustainability and the business of the ocean digs into environmental issues every week in the maritime industries. Get it in your inbox by subscribing.

TradeWinds reported on some of the grants earlier on Wednesday, including Maris Fiducia’s NOK 300m in funding for hydrogen-powered bulkers and Hoegh Autoliners’ more than NOK 109m for ammonia-fuelled car carriers.

Enova also named Amon Gas as a recipient of a new award for an unspecified amount after the company said in September that it received NOK 152m to finance two ammonia-fuelled bulkers.

Halten Bulk, which previously received a NOK 142m grant, also received unspecified funding in the new application round for its plans to build shortsea bulkers powered by hydrogen.

Aquaculture vessel operator More Sjo won NOK 175m, while rival Napier received NOK 123m, according to Norwegian media. Both will use the funds for vessels powered by hydrogen.

“Climate transition in shipping is essential for us to achieve our climate goals,” Eriksen said, according to an AI-generated translation of his statement.

“There are many challenges associated with this transition, but today’s record-breaking allocation is a significant step in the right direction. It’s very positive to see that Enova can play a crucial role in the transformation of shipping.”

Enova launched the latest round of grant applications in December, receiving proposals until March, in a bid to build supply chains for zero and low-emission hydrogen and ammonia, stimulate demand for the fuels and reduce barriers to adopting the technology.

The fund manager, led by chief executive Nils Kristian Nakstad, was offering up to 80% of the shipping projects’ funding in competitive bidding based on the cost-effectiveness and maturity of the proposals.

“The competition was fierce, and many excellent projects unfortunately did not make it all the way,” Nakstad said in a statement, according to an AI translation.

“This bodes very well for future efforts and the next application.”

Maris Fiducia will use its cash to build five dual-fuel bulkers of 6,000 dwt.

HAV Hydrogen, a division of Oslo-listed HAV Group, will provide each vessel with the auxiliary systems, a power module and a fuel tank system with a capacity of 400 kW.

Hoegh Autoliners’ grant brings its total Enova funding to NOK 255m for a plan to add hydrogen engines to its ships being built at China Merchants Heavy Industry Jiangsu in China.

“We believe it is important for shipping companies to send a clear signal to the rest of the value chain that the technology can be realised in a short time and that there will be demand for carbon-neutral fuel,” Hoegh chief executive Andreas Enger said.

“The support from Enova, together with our innovative multi-fuel vessel design, significantly helps derisking the choice of bringing the first zero-carbon vessels to our industry.”