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The Ammonia Wrap: World Bank boosts hydrogen and ammonia as future fuels, new coalition for bunker ammonia, and cracking at the Wilhelmshaven hydrogen hub

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: the World Bank sees hydrogen and ammonia as key to decarbonising shipping, a new coalition for safe ammonia bunkering, Trafigura co-sponsors MAN's development of ammonia-fueled maritime engines, cracking plant a feature of the new Wilhelmshaven hydrogen hub, RWE and H2U to develop global hydrogen trading between Australia and Germany, Province Resources' West Australian mega-project grows to 8GW and South Africa's Hydrogen Society Roadmap a step closer.

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The Ammonia Wrap: Japan developments, ammonia from wastewater, Fortescue’s new carbon-neutral goal, project updates from Australia and H2Pro

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: new Japanese developments, new AiP for ammonia-fueled vessel, Singapore bunkering study, new ammonia from wastewater initiative, Fortescue brings carbon neutrality goals forward to 2030, Australian project updates for Hazer and H2U, and H2Pro updates from Israel.

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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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Marine Ammonia: panel wrap-up from the 2020 Ammonia Energy Conference

What action is needed to unlock the enormous potential of green ammonia as a marine fuel and get the new generation of ammonia-powered vessels on the water? On November 18, 2020, the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) hosted a panel discussion moderated by Sofia Fürstenberg Stott from Fürstenberg Maritime Advisory, as well as panel members Tue Johannessen from the Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Katharine Palmer from Lloyd’s Register, Rob Stevens from Yara International, and Kazumasa Taruishi from NYK Energy Transport.

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US Senators Show Strong Interest in Ammonia-Fueled Shipping

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), recently hosted a hearing on offshore energy technologies. I was invited to testify on technology and policy options for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the marine shipping sector, and I used the opportunity to spotlight ammonia's central role in that effort.

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Picking bunker winners: the mono-fuel / dual-fuel duel

This week, DNV GL published its annual Maritime Forecast to 2050, concluding that “e-ammonia, blue ammonia and bio-methanol are the most promising carbon-neutral fuels in the long run.” DNV GL’s assumptions that determine this long run, however, suggest a significant mid-term reliance on fossil LNG. This risks locking the industry into a long-term emissions trajectory incompatible with the IMO’s 2050 GHG targets, in part because of significant fuel supply and infrastructure investments. These investments could become more ‘sticky’ than expected. A host of alternative opinions have been published in the days before and after DNV GL published its report. These suggest that, for ammonia, the long run could begin this decade. Among others, MAN ES has announced that its ammonia engine will be available for retrofits by 2025.

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Japan’s NYK and partners to develop ammonia fueled and fueling vessels

In recent weeks, the Japanese shipping company NYK Line has announced a series of high-profile research and development collaborations that aim to establish ammonia fueled vessels and fuel supply. Its partners in these projects include classification society Class NK, engine manufacturer IHI Power Systems, and shipbuilder Japan Marine United Corporation. Three vessel types have been announced, so far, including an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier, an ammonia barge for offshore bunkering, and an ammonia-fueled tugboat (for navigating the barge). Pushing beyond the initial research phase, these collaborations aim for commercialization and to put these vessels “into practical use.”

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New IEA Report: One Take on the Sustainable Energy Economy

Last week the International Energy Agency released Energy Technology Perspectives 2020. The report has an upbeat tone, envisioning a high degree of feasibility for the development and deployment of relevant technologies. For those working in the sustainable energy field, though, the aspect of greatest interest may be the relative weights placed on fossil fuels, bioenergy, and hydrogen.

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Haldor Topsøe and Partners Issue Ammonfuel Report

Earlier this month Haldor Topsoe and four partners issued Ammonfuel - an industrial view of ammonia as marine fuel. According to the accompanying press release, the 59-page report provides “a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the applicability, scalability, cost, and sustainability of ammonia as a marine fuel.” The partners include Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Hafnia, and Alfa Laval.

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Wärtsilä, Repsol, and Knutsen to test ammonia four-stroke engine

This week, engine manufacturer Wärtsilä announced “the world’s first long term, full-scale, testing of ammonia as a fuel in a marine four-stroke combustion engine.” The project will begin in the first quarter of 2021, at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s testing facilities at Stord, Norway. It is supported by a NOK 20 million (USD 2 million) grant from the Norwegian Research Council.