A group of industry leaders have set up a “Joint Study” framework for examining common issues on ammonia as an alternative marine fuel, to contribute to meeting the IMO’s decarbonisation targets.
The group includes firms from a range of sectors including energy, mining, power utilities, chemical, terminal, shipping, shipbuilding, manufacturing, bunkering, and classification organizations.
Twenty-three companies, including ABS, ClassNk, TotalEnergies and MAN Energy Solutions have entered into a memorandum of understanding on a joint study of common issues on ammonia as an alternative marine fuel.
The study will examine a range of areas, including; safety assessment of NH3 fueled vessels; safety assessment of NH3 bunkering; NH3 fuel specification; and NET CO2 emissions of NH3 production. Moreover, this framework may ask some NH3 producers, relevant international organizations, and port authorities/regulators in potential bunkering countries to share their opinions and expertise.
The purpose of theJoint Study is not limited to verifying and addressing common issues with ammonia as an alternative marine fuel but also aims to support development of ammonia-fuelled vessels and the development of a worldwide supply chain of ammonia by ITOCHU and other partners.
As a carbon-free molecule, ammonia is a promising alternative fuel for large vessels and deep-sea shipping to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the shipping industry. In particular, green ammonia – produced from green hydrogen using renewable electricity, water and air – could play a major role in enabling the industry to meet the IMO carbon emission reduction targets proposed by 2050.
“Ammonia is a fuel with significant potential for marine applications and ABS is committed to supporting its safe adoption by the industry. It offers shipowners and operators a zero-carbon tank-to-wake emissions profile but is not without challenges. This kind of cross-industry collaboration is vital if we are to better understand the risks and the enhanced safety requirements created by alternate fuels,” said ABS Chairman, President and CEO, Christopher J. Wiernicki.
Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice President Marine Fuels at TotalEnergies, said, “Ammonia is seen as a promising future fuel for shipping from an emissions reduction and scalability perspective. However, safety, technology maturity and affordability remain key challenges which we need to overcome. In tandem with TotalEnergies’ R&D efforts, we are delighted to be part of these pioneering, industry-wide collaborations, to unlock ammonia as a cleaner marine fuel for ships.”
The 23 founding signatories of this joint study framework include ABS, Anglo American, ClassNK, DNV, Equinor, Fortescue Metals Group, Genco shipping & trading, Jera, K-line, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsui E&S Machinery, Nihon Shipyard, NS United, Pavilion Energy, TotalEnergies, Trafigura, UBE Industries, Uniper, Uyeno Transtech, Vale, Vopak Terminal Singapore, ITOCHU Enex and ITOCHU.