FFI Chairman Andrew Forrest calls for urgent regulatory catch-up
The conversion of the offshore supply vessel MMA Leveque to run on ammonia fuel is complete, with Fortescue debuting the Green Pioneer at the recent COP28 summit in Dubai. The dual fuel ship sailed from its Singapore base to Dubai, but had to make the voyage on conventional fuel, as authorities at the Dubai Marina would not permit the ship to enter the UAE if it carried or operated on ammonia fuel.
FFI reports that two of the four engines have been successfully retrofitted to run on an ammonia-diesel fuel blend, and a gaseous fuel delivery system installed and verified. When it returns to Singapore, FFI aims to complete commissioning, take part in an ammonia fuel transfer demonstration and reach final flag class approval. At the unveiling of the vessel, FFI Chairman Andrew Forrest called for the world’s key ports to catch-up to technological progress and update their regulations to allow ammonia-capable vessels to enter and dock.
Now that green ammonia is emerging as a bulk marine fuel, it is…time for the great ports of the world to become capable of pollution free shipping…This is seriously limiting the progress of the decarbonisation of shipping. I look to the leadership of the world’s ports to make clear that running the world’s global shipping on dirty bunker fuel has to stop, as we have a pollution free alternative.Fortescue Executive Chairman and Founder Andrew Forrest in his organisation’s official press release, 2 Dec 2023
In the announcement, FFI notes it has designed and commenced seafarer training in the safe use & handling of ammonia fuel, in conjunction with an accredited Singapore learning institution. These courses could be made available to the wider industry.
Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub
FFI is a key partner in one of the seven hydrogen hubs announced last month by the US Department of Energy. The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub is spread across Washington, Oregon and Montana, incorporating FFI’s planned hydrogen production project in Centralia, Washington. The project will be based in a remediated mine adjacent to Washington’s last coal-fired power station, which will retire permanently in 2025.
Federal funding like this, alongside other incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, go a long way to helping reduce risk and accelerate the wide-spread production of green hydrogen. In turn this will catalyze substantial private sector investment, creating new good paying jobs and economic prosperity for Americans, particularly those in economically vulnerable communities in the Pacific Northwest.Fortescue Executive Chairman and Founder Andrew Forrest in his organisation’s official press release, 2 Dec 2023
New UK facility adds to vertical integration
In October, FFI opened its new state-of-the-art technical innovation centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Focusing on the testing and prototype production of batteries and zero emission powertrains, the site will be the technology development base for the Extreme H motorsports series. Battery systems developed at the site will contribute to the electrification of Fortescue’s heavy-haul mining truck fleet in the Pilbara, Australia.