Japan’s Mitsui OSK Seeks Opportunities in Ammonia Shipping

Japan's Mitsui building ammonia opportuities
MOL acquired a vessel for ammonia transport (MOL)

Published May 18, 2021 5:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] As interest grows in the potential for ammonia, efforts are underway to develop the long-term infrastructure that will be required to support the emerging trade for the chemical. In the latest development, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is reentering the ammonia shipping trade after an absence of five years. In addition, the Japanese shipping company announced that it will participate in a joint development study on the ammonia fuel supply chain.

Announcing its new initiatives related to ammonia, MOL highlighted the potential for the chemical as a marine fuel. They also cited the growing demand for food production, where ammonia continues to be widely used as a raw material for fertilizer. MOL expects that it can expand on its experience operating LNG carriers to build opportunities both with ammonia and potentially hydrogen.

In the shipping field, MOL acquired a gas carrier built in 2010 which had previously been operating as the Gaschem Hamburg. The vessel with a capacity of 35,000 cbm is capable of transporting either LNG or ammonia. The vessel measures 569 feet and has been renamed the Green Pioneer. MOL also announced that it has signed a time charter contract with Trammo, an international ammonia trading company.

At the same time. The Japanese shipping company also said it will join a Singapore research project exploring the development of offshore facilities, such as a floating storage unit or an ammonia bunkering ship as part of the effort to explore the ammonia supply chain for it as a future alternative fuel source. MOL will be working with ITOCHU, Vopak Terminals Singapore, Pavilion Energy Singapore, and Total Marine Fuels in the joint development study.