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Is the industry rushing towards a safety fallout?

The new energy revolution driven by carbon emissions reduction goals is bringing many new challenges, new technology, and application of proven technology in new ways and to expanded scales. There seems to be a race taking place towards low prices that would make large scale export offtake agreements economically viable in comparison to current energy sources. There are also ambitious emission reduction targets set by our politicians, coupled with apparent haste in the industry to abate what is termed the “climate emergency”. To seasoned safety engineering practitioners, these are warning signs that are precursors to potential major accidents. This presentation…

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Building the EU end of the Australia-Europe supply chain

At this year’s Australia conference, we recognise that interest in Australian ammonia is on the rise. At previous conferences we’ve witnessed the strengthening of ties between Australia, Japan and South Korea, and this year we see a new player emerge. The EU’s growing ambitions have catapulted it into the ammonia conversation, and the nascent of an Australia-Europe ammonia supply chain is quickly developing. To give our audience the EU-perspective, we welcome a terrific virtual panel beaming in live from the Netherlands, Germany and Italy: Jill Thesen (Federation of German Industries), Martijn Coopman (Port of Rotterdam), Anna Fedeles (Austrade) and Anna Freeman (Clean Energy Council). Join us in-person or online, and make sure to register by the end of this week (Friday 29 July) to secure the early-bird rate.

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Maritime actors push on with overcoming ammonia fuel safety concerns

Two recent reports (one from Bureau Veritas & Total, the other from the Together in Safety consortium) illustrate just how seriously the maritime industry is pursuing low carbon ammonia fuel. While progress in the maritime ammonia space is impressive, safety risks are widely-acknowledged and work remains to be done.

Both reports identify key hazards facing adoption of ammonia as a maritime fuel, and echo points heard before in the development of methanol & LNG as maritime fuels: high-risk hazards currently exist that must be eliminated, mitigated or controlled. But Together in Safety concludes the way forward will be via collaboration & shared responsibility - something we’re already seeing in the multiple high-profile safety studies and consortia working around the globe. Thankfully, the willingness of significant maritime players to engage on ammonia and the momentum for change are both high.

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New roadmap for ammonia imports into Germany

A Fortescue-led Australian-German business coalition has released a roadmap and ten-point action plan to meet ambitious ammonia import targets for Germany. Policy recommendations on the EU and Australian side of the emerging supply chain include financial support to address the first-mover disadvantage. Guidehouse have laid out recommendations of their own in a new report, which finds maritime shipping of ammonia over long distance is the best import option, and that - ideally - hydrogen derivatives should be shipped into Germany in the form required by end users, saving on reconversion costs.

Meanwhile in Copenhagen, EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans has backed the shipping industry to make the transition faster than expected, with ammonia to be the “future fuel”.

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EU policy developments: CBAM & rules for emissions accounting

MEPs have voted to alter the scope of the upcoming Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to include hydrogen & ammonia, and for the scheme to cover indirect emissions from manufacture. Meanwhile, two Delegated Acts have established a starting point for rules governing the production of alternative fuels from electrolytic hydrogen, including definitions of “fully renewable” hydrogen and a comprehensive emissions accounting calculation. The European Commission will work with key stakeholders to further clarify and improve the new rules.

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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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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.