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Maersk, Keppel and Yara Join Forces for Ammonia Bunkering in Singapore

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Anchorage in Singapore Strait (file image)

Published Mar 9, 2021 10:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

A.P. Moller-Maersk, shipyard Keppel Offshore, shipmanager Fleet Management, fertilizer maker Yara and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo are working on a feasibility study for ammonia bunkering at the Port of Singapore, the world's busiest bunkering port. Together they aim to be among the first to set up a "comprehensive and competitive supply chain for the provision of green ammonia" at the port. 

“Alongside methanol, at A. P. Moller-Maersk we see green ammonia as an important future fuel for the decarbonization 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," said Morten Bo Christiansen, VP and head of decarbonization at A.P. Moller-Maersk. 

Maersk and Fleet Management will work on the development of safe and reliable bunkering procedures, and Keppel will design new ammonia bunkering vessels and ammonia-ready LPG bunkering vessels. Sumitomo will work on the supply chain, including transportation and storage, and Yara will lead the feasibility analysis for supplying the ammonia (green, blue and brown).

The Maersk McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping will provide an analysis of all safety concerns in a technology roadmap, and will integrate the study's findings into economic modelling of lifecycle costs. 

"It is key to understand the complete life cycle 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," said Bo Cerup-Simonsen, CEO of the Maersk McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.

Singapore is quickly emerging as a hub for research into ammonia bunkering. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has joined a second, related initiative to study ammonia propulsion ships, along with Yara, MAN, Samsung Heavy Industries and Lloyd's Register. In a third line of effort, the American Bureau of Shipping is working with Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute (ASTI) on a study of the potential for ammonia bunkering at the port.

“It is . . . clear that Singapore has the potential to play a critical role as a strategic downstream location to receive, store, consume or bunker ammonia,” said Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Director of Sustainability Strategy, in a January announcement.