Singapore's MPA, Yara join ammonia-fueled tanker development project
24th February 2021 08:09 GMT

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and global chemical company, Yara International, have become the latest entrants in the joint development project for an ammonia-fueled tanker as decarbonization objectives in international shipping gain more traction.

"The addition of MPA and Yara means that the alliance which was first unveiled in January 2020, now has a complete representation from all areas of the maritime ecosystem," the MPA said in a statement on Feb. 24.

The expanded coalition, which comprises these two new partners, and existing partners -- MISC Berhad, Lloyd’s Register, Samsung Heavy Industries, and MAN Energy Solutions -- will be called "The Castor Initiative", it said.

The consortium will be able to tap onto MPA’s experience as a bunkering hub and flag state to gather insights on safety issues and ammonia bunkering procedures, and gain access to research capabilities in Singapore, while Yara will work alongside MISC, Lloyd's, Samsung Heavy Industries and MAN to develop ammonia propulsion ships to support the maritime industry’s drive to decarbonization, it said.

This announcement follows a key project milestone in September 2020 when Lloyd's awarded Approval in Principle to Samsung Heavy for its ammonia-fueled tanker design with the aim of commercializing these developments by 2024.



Ammonia as a decarbonization pathway


In April 2018, the IMO laid out its strategy on greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to cut the shipping industry's total GHG emissions by at least 50% from 2008 levels by 2050, and reduce CO2 emissions per transport work by at least 40% by 2030.

In November 2020, the IMO's marine environment protection committee strengthened the Energy Efficiency Design Index, or EEDI, phase 3 requirements.

Ammonia is readily available and over 120 ports worldwide are already handling ammonia products for import and export, and some even have storage facilities, industry sources said separately.

Small plants are expected to emerge beginning 2025 to produce green ammonia at a cost of $650-$850/mt, the Korean Register said in a recent report. But the cost is expected to drop to $400-$600/mt as larger plants are constructed in 2030 and then to decline to as low as $275–$450/mt in 2040, as consumption increases, it said.

As a fuel, ammonia’s stability is known to be better than propane and similar to gasoline, it said, adding that the gas is relatively easy to liquefy and like LPG, ammonia can be liquefied by applying a certain pressure even at room temperature.

While there are concerns about ammonia being hazardous, it is no more dangerous than some current fuels, industry sources said.

“When it comes to ammonia, the codes and regulations that have been long established in the refrigeration industry need to be translated to the existing IGF codes ... but I don’t think it is a problem,” Trevor Brown, director at the Ammonia Energy Association told S&P Global Platts recently.

When it comes to hydrogen versus ammonia, more people are familiar with hydrogen, he said. "What people don't realize is that about 90% of the cost of making ammonia is hydrogen,” Brown said.

“Making hydrogen into ammonia so that we can store it and transport it from a cost perspective is negligible, but from an operational perspective gives fantastic flexibility,” he added.

Many companies in the energy transition sector are confused by what needs to be done and are adopting a wait-and-see strategy, but that is not the lowest-cost pathway, Brown said, adding that companies need to assess their compliance solutions now.

Bunkerworld .,
24th February 2021 08:09 GMT