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Maritime Sector is Set to Become ‘Ammonia-Ready’

Last month brought news of "the world’s first ammonia ready vessel.” According to an American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) press release, the vessel, currently under construction in China, will comply “with the ABS Ammonia Ready Level 1 requirements, indicating it is designed to be converted to run on ammonia in the future.” When completed, the 274-meter ship (and possibly two others of identical design) will join the fleet of Avin International.

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Trammo-Proton Ventures Tie-Up May Be Good News for Developers

Last month Trammo and Proton Ventures signed an agreement to cooperate on green ammonia projects. At face value, this is simply a case of two companies from different corners of the ammonia ecosystem coming together to leverage their complementary competencies. But a careful look at the tie-up reveals intriguing possibilities for companies looking to develop green ammonia production capacity.

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Grieg Maritime and Wärtsilä to Build Ammonia-Fueled Ammonia Tanker

Last month Norwegian shipping company Grieg Maritime Group and Finnish engine and energy equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä announced plans to build an ammonia-fueled tanker that will be ready for service in 2024. The MS Green Ammonia will transport low-carbon ammonia along the Norwegian coast from a factory that will be built in the far-north municipality of Berlevåg.

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Ammonia Featured in Japan’s New Green Growth Strategy

Last month Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) unveiled a policy platform that will help the country realize its goal of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. According to a December 25, 2020 METI press release, the “Green Growth Strategy towards 2050 Carbon Neutrality” sets goals for 14 “priority fields” and “formulates action plans covering comprehensive policies in areas such as budgets, taxes, regulation reforms and standardization, and international collaboration.” “Ammonia fuel” and hydrogen are each the focus of a distinct priority field.

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United Nations Sparks Green Hydrogen Initiative

Last month UN Climate Change announced an initiative whose goal is to scale up green hydrogen production significantly over the next six years. “The new ‘Green Hydrogen Catapult’ initiative will see green hydrogen industry leaders, including ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Snam, and Yara, target the deployment of 25 gigawatts through 2026 of renewables-based hydrogen production, with a view to halve the current cost of hydrogen to below US$2 per kilogram.”

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Tsubame BHB Launches Joint Evaluation with Mitsubishi Chemical

Last month Tsubame BHB, a Japanese developer of ammonia synthesis technology, announced the signing of a “joint evaluation contract” with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) that will focus on a novel ammonia separation membrane. The company, which started operations in 2017, is working on a method of ammonia synthesis that could allow economic production at scales 1-2 orders of magnitude below today’s plants.

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Techno-Economic Challenges of Green Ammonia as an Energy Vector

Techno-Economic Challenges of Green Ammonia as an Energy Vector, a new textbook, was issued in September by scientific and technical publisher Elsevier. The 340-page volume was written by Agustin Valera-Medina of Cardiff University and Rene Banares-Alcantara of Oxford University. The book is a valuable consolidation of knowledge across the many aspects of ammonia energy, and seems destined to become a go-to reference for current and future technologists, project developers, and policy makers.

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Fortescue Making Major Move into Green Energy

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald featured this headline: "Fortescue to take on fossil fuel giants with expansion into green energy." Bold words, but it turns out the headline does not overstate Fortescue’s ambitions for its new business, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). “FFI will finance, develop and operate renewable energy projects including green hydrogen and green ammonia plants,” the accompanying story says, with the "aim to build 235 gigawatts of installed energy capacity.”

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METI Forms Ammonia Energy Council

Last week, Japan’s Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry (METI) announced the formation of a council to work on the implementation of ammonia as an energy commodity. The announcement came on the same day as a speech by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in which he established 2050 as the date certain for Japan to achieve carbon-neutrality. That was Monday October 26, 2020. The council held its first meeting on Tuesday October 27. The Council consists of four entities from the public sector and ten from the private sector. Members include companies that have previously been identified with the development of ammonia energy systems, including EPC firm JGC, capital goods manufacturer IHI, electric utility JERA, and shipping company NYK Line. The membership also reflects what appears to be the group’s central mission: positioning Japan as ammonia energy’s global leader via the dissemination of technology and the development of supply chains.