Amogy Southern Devall 2

Barge operator to test ammonia-powered fuel system

Nov. 7, 2022
Southern Devall, Amogy team up to demonstrate commercial viability of converting ammonia into hydrogen for fuel cells in long-distance transportation

Southern Devall, which specializes in transporting bulk liquid chemicals and fertilizer products in U.S. waterways, will power one of its tank barges with Amogy’s ammonia-to-power system through a new partnership meant to demonstrate the commercial viability of the proprietary emission-free solution.

The towing company, formed last year through the combination of Southern Towing Company in Louisiana and Devall Towing in Tennessee, currently services a “significant portion” of the ammonia production market and delivers ammonia to terminals for export, and agricultural and chemical customers along America’s inland waterways, the companies said. Amogy’s system converts ammonia into hydrogen for use in fuel cells or as a more energy-dense method of long-distance hydrogen transportation. The system, already demonstrated in a farming tractor and aerial drone, now is being scaled for use in larger applications, including ships and ammonia bunkering barges to support the maritime industry’s decarbonization efforts. This partnership will provide Amogy with access to ammonia infrastructure, as well as the Southern Devall team’s expertise in handling ammonia and maritime operations.

“Southern Devall shares Amogy’s passion for driving innovation, making them the perfect strategic partner to support our commercial entrance to the U.S. maritime market,” said Seonghoon Woo, CEO of Amogy. “In collaboration with their team, we’ll have a first-mover advantage in this space through expanded access to the ammonia infrastructure and industry knowledge, setting us on track to demonstrate our platform’s operational capabilities in large maritime vessels.”

Amogy and Southern Devall have initiated work on their first technology deployment, a retrofit of a barge that is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2023. An Amogy powerpack will generate the power needed to reliquefy ammonia as it heats up over the course of a voyage, instead of a diesel genset. The Amogy system will keep the ammonia tank pressure low, enabling Southern Devall to deliver ammonia to customers upon arrival and increase the utilization and profitability of their fleet, the companies said. Furthermore, Amogy’s system already passed initial safety reviews and recently received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register, a maritime classification society, for a powerpack design similar to what the team will look to deploy in this project.

Following the barge integration and demonstration, Amogy and Southern Devall plan to pursue retrofits of additional barges and tugboats, creating an ammonia-powered fleet that includes cargo transportation vessels, as well as bunkering barges for efficient, emission-free refueling of ammonia-powered ships.

“Amogy has built an impressive platform that our team believes is an ideal solution for introducing cost-efficient, zero-carbon bunkering and powering operations to the inland barge industry,” said Sam Lewis, vice president of engineering at Southern Devall. “Adopting their solution at scale in our fleet has both environmental and economic benefits through increased delivery volume.

“We look forward to demonstrating the value of ammonia-to-power solutions in our first project with Amogy and introducing industry and channel partners to these innovations.” 

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BT staff