Industry Leaders Collaborate to Develop Ammonia Shipping Fuel Guidance


Published Apr 17, 2021 3:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

This week, Lloyd’s Register’s Decarbonization Hub, A.P. Moller-Maersk, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi  Heavy Industries, NYK Line, Total and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping are joining  forces in a new project with the purpose of guiding safe use of ammonia as a fuel for shipping.  

Ammonia as a fuel is heavily debated as a suitable long term solution for maritime, as the industry transitions towards a zero- or low carbon value chain. Green ammonia can be produced from renewable power by  electrolysis of H2O, ultimately making it a zero carbon fuel. However, due to the extreme toxicity of the fuel,  it is critical to address the safety issues of Ammonia in order to mitigate risks for both people, assets and the  environment. 

To accelerate the safe introduction of Ammonia in maritime, it is critical to create clarity, assess the safety  challenges and need for global standards. Part of this will include developing a mature and detailed  understanding of risk and safety concerns, which will be assessed through a Quantitative Risk Assessment  methodology in phase one of the project. This will ultimately lead to the development of best practices for  safeguards in design and arrangements when using Ammonia as a shipping fuel.  

The project will also determine the risk of fatality from unintended releases of Ammonia, as well as the risk contribution of key equipment and spaces dedicated to Ammonia storage. To illustrate the potential for risk  mitigation measures, the project partners will assess alternate vessel designs, optimized to be fueled by  Ammonia. 

Funded by the participating partners, the project will be managed by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for  Zero Carbon Shipping and is expected to run throughout 2021. 

Commenting on the new project, Lloyd’s Register Decarbonisation Programme Manager, Charles  Haskell said: “Shipping needs collaboration if the industry is to successfully meet the IMO 2050 targets, and  this collaboration between the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and the Mærsk Mc Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping is a significant milestone in this journey. We look forward to  working with the project partners, who each represent different areas of the supply chain, in developing  guidance, risk mitigation measures and best practice on using Ammonia so that we can support the safe  uptake of the fuel.” 

“In the eagerness to decarbonize the shipping sector proper risk management is critical and safety must not  become an afterthought. This project will provide matured understanding of safety risk enabling industry  guidance towards future safeguard design and adequate operational guidelines. Enabling safe and adequate deployment of ammonia as marine fuel” - Says Claus Winter Graugaard, Head of Onboard Vessel Solutions, the  Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping. 

“Safe operations of ammonia as a fuel is the most important prerequisite to successfully design and deploy  ammonia powered vessels. At Maersk we see green ammonia as one of the fuels of the future. It emits no  CO2 during combustion and offers a very promising scalability potential. Besides the technical challenges,  ammonia’s safety challenge is a main outstanding hurdle to solve for Ammonia to become a viable ship fuel,  so we are very pleased to team up with leading players across the ecosystem in solving ammonia’s safety  challenge” - Says Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology, A. P. Moller - Maersk  

Brian Østergaard Sørensen, Vice President and Head of R&D Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “We encourage industry-wide partnerships for decarbonizing the marine market and actively seek to  collaborate with industry partners in furthering this goal. This is an important project as ammonia has a lot of  potential as a clean, zero-carbon fuel but clearly requires a full appraisal of its characteristics on its path to  becoming a widespread, commercial fuel. We look forward to adding our expertise to the discussion.” 

“Energy transition is an unavoidable issue today. Safety concept will become the most important aspect for  the design of commercial vessels and systems on board in consideration of alternative fuels to be used such  as ammonia. Through the accumulative experience in Ammonia carriers and Ammonia production plants in  MHI Group and by combining the knowledge and efforts with the great project partners, we are quite delighted to provide what we call ‘Smell free concept’ Says Tomoo Kuzu, Senior Executive Vice President,  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co., Ltd 

“Safety assessment is of paramount importance in integrating Ammonia as sustainable marine fuel into the  design of commercial vessels. Going together with the leading partners through this project, the depth of  knowledge on the safe use of Ammonia shall be accumulated and it should support to find a pathway toward  zero carbon shipping” – Says Yasushi Yamamoto, General Manager of Technical Group, NYK LINE. 

Shipping’s road map to decarbonization  

Global shipping accounts for around 3% of global carbon emissions, a share that is likely to increase as other  industries tackle climate emissions in the coming decades. 
Achieving the long-term target of decarbonization requires new fuel types and a systemic change within the  industry. Shipping is a globally regulated industry, which provides an opportunity to secure broad-based  industry adoption of new technology and fuels.  

To accelerate the development of viable technologies a coordinated effort within applied research is needed  across the entire supply chain. Industry leaders play a critical role in ensuring that laboratory research is  successfully matured to scalable solutions matching the needs of industry. At the same time, new legislation  will be required to enable the transition towards decarbonization. 

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