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Unlimited ambitions – with André Risholm, Amon Maritime

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In the second of our series focusing on the shortlisted nominees that fought it out for the Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award 2022, we talk to André Risholm, Founder and CEO, Amon Maritime.

Norway’s Amon Maritime has the ambitious aim of becoming the world’s first carbon free shipping company. The start-up, founded in 2019, is focused on the belief that ammonia is the fuel destined to unlock a truly emissions free future for the industry. As such, the team is developing the first ammonia-powered vessels, initially serving the short sea bulk segment (with new company Viridis Bulk Carriers), as well as bunkering solutions and ship management services. Collaborating with a range of expert partners, Amon is seeking to kick start a “revolution” in sustainable shipping. Watch this space!

André, your insights please:

What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the industry, and how can we work together to address it?

Creating the right platform to enable industry decarbonisation in an environment defined by cost and compliance. Initiating a carbon tax would be ideal, but we also need to change perspectives so there’s a focus on benefits on the income side rather than just initial costs. In addition, collaboration across the value chain, from ship fuel to end-consumers of transported products, is essential – that could even be used to make carbon free shipping competitive prior to carbon taxes.

Amon Maritime targeting short sea bulk with unique ammonia-powered concept

Why do you think the maritime industry is the right place for young people to work?

Shipping is, by its nature, a truly international business, making it a great way to meet people, learn about different cultures, understand geopolitics and macro-economic factors, see the world, and seize upon truly global opportunities. The fact that shipping is relatively ‘people light’ – by which I mean it’s very capital intensive – makes it a great place to really have an impact if you have the right ideas and ambition.

What’s more, 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, so this is an arena that couldn’t be more important!

What change would you like to see within the next five to ten years?

Preferably a global, but at the very least regional, efficient carbon tax system for shipping at a sufficient level to drive industry decarbonization on a pure cost basis. In addition, it’d be nice to see banks going from signing up to the “Poseidon Principles” to actually offering more attractive terms for green shipping than conventional assets.

Please describe your experience with the Young Entrepreneur Award?

I’m very grateful for the inclusion in the final shortlist of four – it’s nice to get that kind of acknowledgment (but I’d like to win it next year!). The award has been very useful as a tool to help spread the word about Amon Maritime and our vision to lead the green shift in shipping. I think it’s also very positive that the entrepreneurial focus helps demonstrate that it’s not only the large companies that can be crucial in driving maritime decarbonization.

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