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Nuclear-powered ammonia production

The potential for nuclear-powered ammonia production is developing fast. Two seperate industrial consortia (Copenhagen Atomics, Alfa Larval & Topsoe, and KBR & Terrestrial Energy) have formed to develop thorium-fueled reactors, and hydrogen & ammonia production is a key part of their plans. Given nuclear electricity dominates France’s energy mix, a grid-connected electrolyser project at Borealis’ fertiliser production plant in Ottmarsheim, France will be one of the first examples of commercial-scale, nuclear-powered ammonia production. And, while capital costs & lead times remain significant, mass production of new technologies and research into flexible power production capabilities are emerging as key to unlocking nuclear-powered ammonia production.

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Reflections on the last meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee: the time is ripe for maritime ammonia

To develop sufficient ammonia supply to meet future maritime fuel demands, we face a herculean task. The recent meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) gives us an insight into the key next steps to address financial & regulatory challenges. For the first time, MEPC 78 introduced the idea of a “Zero by 2050” goal for global shipping: a steep change in ambition. The use of funds from mechanisms like carbon pricing to ensure a fair, just and equitable transition, the necessity of high-impact investment to drive the fuel transition, and the adoption of new LCA guidelines in the next twelve months were also discussed. The drive & ambition shown at MEPC 78 indicates that the time is ripe for maritime ammonia to position itself as the fuel of choice for the global shipping industry.

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AMON Maritime: Ammonia-fueled ships and networks

In our most recent episode of Maritime Ammonia Insights we introduced the Amon Maritime consortium. Amon is unique, as it builds from the ground up and shares risk to remove the chicken-and-egg dilemma faced by new maritime ammonia players. Acknowledging that external funding has been essential to reach the point where they are at today, Amon Maritime has progressed as a shipping company and ammonia bunkering network at remarkable speed. With their novel approach and impressive progress to date, there are many takeaways for the wider maritime stakeholder environment to consider. Amon’s CEO André Risholm and CCO Karl Arthur Bræin joined Conor Fürstenberg Stott to discuss the opportunities ahead.

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GCMD & DNV: Pioneering Ammonia Bunkering Safety in Singapore

Our latest episode of Maritime Ammonia Insights revealed key details about the Ammonia Bunkering Safety Study currently being undertaken in Singapore. The study is led by the Global Center for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), with DNV acting as a consulting partner. Lau Wei Jie (GCMD) took us through the high-profile lineup of study partners, and explained how the study aims to develop an extensive technical guideline for ammonia bunkering, similar to TR 56 (which covers LNG bunkering). Dr. Imran Ibrahim (DNV Maritime Advisory), then explained the technical scope of the study, how pilot project sites will be selected, and how the study partners are using previous work from Rotterdam and Oslo to hone their approach. Our audience was eager to understand how this work in Singapore might be applied elsewhere, and keenly awaits the results, which are due for public release in February 2023.

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Unlocking CCS ammonia potential in Europe

The first episode of our new series Ammonia Project Features revealed interesting details about current and future low-carbon ammonia projects in Europe. Bjørgulf Eidesen (Horisont Energi) explained that the Barents Blue project aims to set an ambitious new standard for low-carbon ammonia production, particularly by demonstrating transparency on its CO2 footprint & other sustainability indicators. But, although Europe’s technical capacity for carbon storage is far greater than what will be required, Toby Lockwood (Clean Air Task Force) reminded us that progress is slow, with only half the capacity required by 2030 currently developed. Supporting policy, tight regulations and funding support is all required from a government level.

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Green Ammonia Volume Analysis – A Roadmap Towards 2030

Yara Clean Ammonia, together with NCE Maritime CleanTech and with analysis support from DNV, have delivered a volume analysis and roadmap for the use of renewable ammonia in the Norwegian domestic shipping sector. With the right policy levers in place, renewable ammonia can meet and reach beyond the 2030 decarbonisation targets for the Norwegian domestic fleet, reducing emissions by as much as 69%.

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DECHEMA and Fertilizers Europe: decarbonizing ammonia production up to 2030

DECHEMA and Fertilizers Europe recently released a new report detailing how & where the European fertilizer industry can decarbonize leading up to 2030. Technology options for CO2-emission reduction of hydrogen feedstock in ammonia production explores decarbonization pathways including energy efficiency improvements, carbon capture & sequestration, renewable hydrogen feedstock and grid-based electrolysis. It proposes a detailed roadmap towards 19% emissions reduction from the EU fertilizer industry by 2030, and – looking ahead to 2050 – forecasts the almost complete decarbonization of the industry, via zero-carbon electricity generation in the EU and the growth of renewable hydrogen production. With the right policy & regulatory levers in place, Fertilizers Europe believes there is no reason the transition cannot happen faster.

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Closing the Gap for Zero-Emission Fuels

In January 2022, UMAS and the Getting To Zero Coalition (GtZC) released a report with policy options for closing the competitiveness gap between conventional & future maritime fuels. Such measures will be necessary to enable an equitable transition to zero-emissions shipping. So how might these potential policy routes may impact and enable the scaling of maritime ammonia?

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Green Maritime Corridors – A catalyst for transition to green shipping fuels

The ports of Los Angeles and Shanghai have announced the intention to create a green shipping corridor across the Pacific Ocean. The ambition is for ships trading between these ports to run on alternative low greenhouse gas emission fuels. Ammonia stands among the options as such an alternative.

There is a clear willingness from key players at the LA end of this trans-Pacific shipping corridor to embrace alternative fuel solutions and work together to unlock a suite of zero emissions technologies, albeit limited to an onshore focus for now. Shifting focus onto the water - where ammonia maritime fuel will undoubtedly play a critical role - is the logical next step.

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IEA publishes Ammonia Technology Roadmap

Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published the Ammonia Technology Roadmap, in which the pathway to nitrogen fertilizer production up to 2050 was highlighted. Various scenarios were introduced, ranging from a baseline scenario to a sustainable development scenario (SDS) and a net zero emissions (NZE) by 2050 scenario. Demand, decarbonization costs and technology pathways were all explored in detail.