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.


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.


Ammonia-powered vessels & maritime engines: development updates

This week we explore four announcements in the maritime ammonia space:

  • Færder Tankers Norway will receive $20 million in Enova funding to develop two ammonia-powered vessel designs: a tanker and a car carrier.
  • Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has completed a conceptual design for an LPG-ammonia dual-fuel VLGC, with Approval in Principle granted by ClassNK.
  • Delivery dates have been set for the first eight of Höegh Autoliners’ Aurora-class, ammonia-powered car carriers, with China Merchants Heavy Industry to deliver vessels from late 2024.
  • WinGD and Hyundai Heavy Industries will collaborate to deliver the first WinGD two-stroke engine capable of running on ammonia by 2025.


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.


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.


Eastern Pacific Shipping: adding ammonia power to the fleet

Eastern Pacific Shipping will lead development of an ammonia-powered, dual-fuel gas tanker. The carrier will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, registered under the Singapore national flag, classed by ABS, and will be the first vessel fitted with MAN Energy Solutions’ G60 two-stroke dual-fuel ammonia engine. As EPS steadily scales up its engagement with maritime ammonia, another high-profile consortium is accelerating a bunkering study in Singapore.


Ocean Network Express: adding ammonia power to the fleet

Singapore-based Ocean Network Express has signed contracts with two ship-builders for construction of five ammonia-ready VLCCs each (ten total), to be delivered in 2025. In Japan, NYK Line, IHI Power Systems and ClassNK will develop, deliver and fuel an ammonia-powered tugboat for the City of Yokohama, with the vessel to be delivered and working in the port in 2024.


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%.


Green maritime fuels next to the Suez Canal

A series of new announcements illustrates the growing importance of Egypt, the Suez Gulf and the area designated the Suez Canal Economic Zone to the ammonia energy transition:

  • Masdar and a series of public & private partners plan a 4 GW electrolyser capacity, 2.3 million tonnes per year renewable ammonia export project in Ain Sokhna, with the first stage to focus on methanol production for bunker fuel.
  • The General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) has signed deals for two smaller maritime fuel production plants, one with French organisation EDF Renewables and the other with UAE-based EMEA Power.
  • And Maersk will explore potential for large-scale green maritime fuel production near the Suez Canal, committing to off take in a new deal with SCZONE and government partners.