Tuesday, February 23, 2021

More Industry Big Hitters Aim for Carbon Free Maritime Fuel Production and Employment

Ammonia Joint Venture Gains Two New Partners
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Mention ammonia to the average person and the picture conjured up in their head would likely range from cleaning glass to villains disabling their prey by spraying them in the face with, what is let's face it, pretty nasty stuff.

What is now however being more generally envisaged is ammonia as a carbon free fuel, suitable for maritime and other uses. New production methods enable the manufacture of ammonia via a ‘nitrogen in/ammonia out’ technology powered by solar energy.

Ammonia consists of one nitrogen atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms. Pump in nitrogen, add water and electricity and it is possible to produce a fuel which has an energy density by volume around twice as great as that of hydrogen, another leading contender as the ‘new black’ of marine and other sector fuels.

As the scramble to produce clean burning, renewable ammonia hots up, so more big hitters are getting involved. This week the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Yara International ASA, signed up to the Ammonia-fuelled tanker Joint Development Project (JDP) joining partners MISC Berhad (MISC), Lloyd’s Register (LR), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and MAN Energy Solutions (MAN).

The announcement came at a recent webinar focused on Ammonia as a Shipping Fuel which was organised by The Getting to Zero Coalition’s Fuels & Technologies workstream. The JDP partners also went on to announce the name of the expanded coalition – The Castor Initiative. The two newest members add strength to an already competent bunch, Yara with its expertise in fertiliser production, the MPA as both a bunkering hub and flag state.

While ammonia is one of the fuels being considered by maritime stakeholders, the partners also recognise that the shipping industry will need to explore multiple decarbonisation pathways and hope their collaboration will spur others in the maritime industry to join forces on addressing this global challenge. Magnus Ankarstrand, EVP Clean Ammonia, Yara, said:

“Supporting the enabling role of ammonia in the energy transition, we recognise the need for value chain collaboration to make zero-emission shipping by using ammonia as a fuel a reality.”

LR Group CEO, Nick Brown welcomed both the calibre and expertise of the latest partners saying that making deep-sea zero-carbon vessels a reality within this decade called for leadership commitment and collaborative action, whilst MPA Chief Executive, Ms Quah Ley Hoon, said,

“Decarbonisation remains a key priority for the maritime sector, not just in Singapore but globally. As a transhipment and bunkering hub, we are committed to meet IMO2030/2050 decarbonisation goals. We are also looking forward to collaborating with like-minded industry partners to support the development and trials of alternative future marine fuels such as ammonia.”