When it comes to driving forward the transition to clean carbon-neutral fuels, there is no shortage of energy at AP Moller-Maersk
Fresh off its announcement that it would build the first carbon-neutral ship, the container shipping giant has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a coalition of industry heavy hitters to study the feasibility of developing a green ammonia supply chain in the Port of Singapore.
Joining Maersk in the effort are: Fleet Management Limited, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Sumitomo Corporation and Yara International. Under the MoU, the coalition will jointly conduct a feasibility study with the goal of establishing a comprehensive and competitive supply chain for the provision of green ammonia ship-to-ship bunkering at the Port of Singapore, the largest bunkering port in the world. With its growing LNG bunkering supply, Singapore is clearly advancing its plans to remain relevant in shipping’s multi-alternative fuel future.
Maersk said the study aims to cover the entire end-to-end supply chain of ammonia bunkering, which includes the development of a cost-effective green ammonia supply chain, design of ammonia bunkering vessels, as well as related supply chain infrastructure. Relevant government agencies and experts in Singapore will be engaged in working towards the standardisation of safe operation and regulations. The study will assess the supply of ammonia including potential synergies with LPG as a starting point, considering the comparable requirements for mild refrigerated storage, vessels or barges initially designed for LPG can also handle brown, blue and green ammonia.
Coalition members will each bring to bear their unique skillsets to the effort; Maersk will provide input specific to container vessels and will work on developing safe and reliable bunkering procedures for ammonia. Fleet Management Limited will work on developing safe and reliable operating bunkering procedures for the alternative marine fuels from a manning service provider’s point of view. Keppel will develop and design the newbuild ammonia bunkering vessel and ammonia-ready LPG bunkering vessel and lead in the co-ordination with relevant authorities in Singapore to establish port regulations and operational guidelines. The MMM centre will map all safety-related topics in an ammonia maritime technology roadmap.
The bunkering study will be integrated in a techno-economic model including detailed understanding of end-to-end cost and lifecycle analysis. Sumitomo Corp will structure, integrate and promote the end-to-end supply chain of green/blue/brown ammonia and LPG as the alternative marine fuels, which includes supply, transportation, storage and bunkering. Yara will lead in the feasibility evaluation of the supply of green/blue/brown ammonia to Singapore.
Emitting zero CO2 when combusted, ammonia has long been considered one of the most promising alternative marine fuels to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the shipping industry, which is in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy to reduce CO2 emission by 2050. In particular, green ammonia possesses great potential as it is produced from only renewable electricity, water and air with no CO2 emission.
AP Moller-Maersk vice president and head of decarbonisation Morten Bo Christiansen said “Alongside methanol, at AP Moller-Maersk we see green ammonia as an important future fuel for the decarbonisation of our fleet. A dual-fuel ammonia engine is currently under development, but for green ammonia to fuel our vessels in the future we also have supply, infrastructure and safety-related challenges to solve, not least when it comes to bunkering operations. We are pleased to work with renowned companies in this field to pave the way for ammonia as a future fuel to decarbonise global shipping.”
Fleet Management managing director Kishore Rajvanshy said “We participate with our technical expertise across ship types to provide holistic solutions to sustainability, and alongside other alternative fuels such as methanol, we feel ammonia will play a significant role”.
Keppel Offshore & Marine chief executive Chris Ong said, “There are multiple routes to the decarbonisation of the marine industry and we are pleased to be able to leverage our expertise in engineering and bunkering to spearhead the development of cleaner marine fuels such as ammonia. This includes the design of ammonia bunkering and ammonia-powered vessels, as well as developing the value chain necessary for the adoption of ammonia. This is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which includes seizing opportunities in new energy.”
Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping chief executive Bo Cerup-Simonsen, said “It is key to understanding the complete lifecycle and safety implications of any future fuel across the supply chain. This project will address gaps in infrastructure and regulation and bring forward the solutions needed for safe operations and bunkering of ammonia in ports. We truly look forward to the collaboration and to contribute to this important work.”
Added Yara clean ammonia executive vice president Magnus Ankarstrand, “Ammonia as an energy carrier is an enabler of the energy transition and we recognise the need for value-chain collaboration to make zero-emissions shipping by using ammonia as a fuel a reality.”
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