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Argus Media: Ammonia-bunker price spread to remain wide

While ammonia is still only used as a marine fuel in pilot projects, the price spread is indicative of the challenges ahead of its growing use, says Argus Media.

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Ammonia's price premium to conventional marine fuels is likely to remain wide for the remainder of the year thanks to high natural gas prices and the expected rebound in fertilizer demand in the fall.

4 August 2022

In July, northwest Europe grey ammonia was assessed at three times the price of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), and at 2.2 times the price of marine gasoil (MGO) sold in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp, Argus assessments showed. Grey ammonia in the US Gulf coast was pegged at 2.9 times the price of VLSFO and at 2.2 times the price of MGO sold in Houston.

Middle East grey ammonia had the most favorable pricing compared with conventional bunkers — at 2.2 times the price of VLSFO and at 1.6 times the price of MGO sold in Fujairah in July.

Ammonia is considered by the marine shipping industry as a future fuel that will help reduce emissions as it does not emit CO2 when burned. By comparison a tonne of residual fuel oil emits about 3.151t of CO2 and one tonne of MGO emits about 3.206t of CO2 when burned.

While ammonia is still only used as a marine fuel in pilot projects, the price spread is indicative of the challenges ahead of its growing use. Among the latest ammonia-fueled vessel projects announced are Japanese shipping firm NYK Line's plan to develop an ammonia-powered tugboat in 2024-2025, and Singapore-based shipping company Pacific International Lines ordering four LNG-powered containerships, which will be also equipped with an ammonia-ready fuel tank, also for 2024-2025.

Prices for natural gas, a feedstock for ammonia, are not expected to ease for the rest of 2022 as the market responds to concerns Russia will continue to squeeze or cut natural gas exports to Europe. Western European ammonia producers continue to scale back output in response to the higher prices and increasingly seek imports from lower-cost sources. Germany's BASF, for example, plans to cut its ammonia production in the event of gas supply shortages.

Separately US agricultural chemicals producer LSB Industries expects higher corn prices, driven by supply concerns from South America and the western US, coupled with strong demand for corn in China and resilient ethanol demand in the US, to support farmer earnings and support higher ammonia pricing through the fourth quarter and into 2023.

While marine fuel sales and consumption are not subject to greenhouse gas restrictions, fees or taxes, the EU has two proposals in the works that would change that. One proposal would add 100pc of marine emissions to the European emissions trading system (ETS) starting in 2024. An earlier proposal called for adding 20pc of emissions to the ETS from 2023, gradually increasing to 100pc from 2026. The proposals apply to emissions generated from burning the fuel.

By Stefka Wechsler

Related: Japan: MOU entered to develop ammonia-fuelled tugboat for Yokohama city
Related: PIL orders four 8,000 TEU LNG DF container vessels from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding
Related: Singapore: PIL in newbuilding order for four LNG DF 14,000 TEU container vessels

 

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 8 August, 2022

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

‘Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for a multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

Singapore has moved decisively to ensure energy and fuel resilience as international shipping looks to alternative fuels to meet global decarbonisation targets, said Singapore’s Minister for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat on Monday (15 April).

In his speech at the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024 opening ceremony, he said Singapore is preparing its port for a multi-fuel future.

“Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,” he said.

“MPA has also issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the alternative fuels ammonia and methanol over this past year.

“For our ammonia EOI, we have shortlisted six consortiums, and are studying their comprehensive proposals for the supply of ammonia for bunkering and power generation in Singapore.”

Chee added reliability and resilience also mean that Singapore upholds the highest standards for safety, efficiency, and quality. 

“Enterprise Singapore, through the Singapore Standards Council, has been working closely with industry partners to introduce national standards to support the digitalisation of bunkering supply chain documentation, as well as on methanol and ammonia bunkering.”

“As a major maritime and bunkering hub, Singapore is committed to continue serving as a trusted node for international shipping.”

Chee said this when elaborating on Singapore’s focus to grow the republic as a hub for reliable and resilient maritime operations, one of three important areas the republic will prioritise on growing its maritime sector. 

The other two areas are to grow Maritime Singapore as a hub for maritime innovation and as a hub for maritime talent development.

“Looking ahead, we expect some turbulence along the way, but we are confident that the global maritime industry will continue to grow,” Chee said.

“And Singapore as a hub port and International Maritime Centre can benefit from this growth and the opportunities it brings, including in emerging areas like digitalisation and decarbonisation.”

However, Chee warned Singapore shouldn’t take its success for granted and to continue improving productivity and competitiveness while staying relevant to changing requirements to be able to meet the needs of local and international stakeholders. 

“But we must not rest on our laurels, or make the mistake of thinking that these positive outcomes will happen on auto-pilot. A rising tide can indeed lift all boats, but the boat and its crew can only benefit if they are well-prepared when the water level rises,” he said.

Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects
RelatedSMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: Singapore gets its first dedicated methanol bunkering tanker “MT MAPLE”
Related: Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 April 2024

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Biofuel

Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming’s inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China, says firm.

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Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Banle Energy International Limited, a subsidiary of CBL International Limited, on Monday (15 April) announced the arrangement of B24 biofuel bunkering services for Yang Ming's vessel YM Utility at a port in Yantian, Shenzhen on 14 April.

“By providing Yang Ming with our B24 biofuel bunkering services, this transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming's inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China,” the firm in a social media post. 

“As a company actively promoting the use of biofuels, we are making a significant contribution to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping.”

“The B24 biofuel blend, as indicated by a study, is projected to reduce approximately 20% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions when compared with conventional fuel oil.”

As the firm focuses on expanding its operations in Europe, the firm added it will continue to forge strategic partnerships and explore new opportunities to provide efficient and reliable solutions.

 

Photo credit: Banle Energy International Limited
Published: 16 April 2024

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Methanol

Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol for a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.

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Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) on Monday (15 April) said it has received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol in connection with the construction of a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.

The newbuild will operate at the port of Singapore under charter to deliver marine fuels. The port itself is reported as laying plans for the steady supply of methanol from 2025 onwards in order to meet future, anticipated bunkering requirements for methanol-fuelled vessels. 

The dual-fuel engines will form part of a diesel-electric propulsion system on board the vessel with electrical motors driving twin fixed-pitch propellers via gearboxes; an onboard battery-storage system will optimise the use of the dual-fuelled generators. 

MAN Energy Solutions’ licensee, CMP – an engine-manufacturing division of Chinese State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) – will build the engines in China and the vessel is scheduled for delivery during Q4, 2025.

Bjarne Foldager – Country Manager, Denmark – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Seeing our trusted MAN L21/31 GenSets go into these ships as a methanol-fuelled version shows that maritime decarbonisation is a prominent consideration for shipowners in all vessel segments and sizes.”

“It also clearly illustrates, regardless of the market one serves as shipowner, that our broad, dual-fuel portfolio enables everyone to take part in the green transition.”

Thomas S. Hansen – Head of Sales and Promotion – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “The MAN L21/31 engine is well-established in the market having racked up some 2,750 sales.”

“The reliability of its cost-effective, port fuel-injection concept now prominently positions the 21/31DF-M as the preferred, medium-speed, small-bore engine for GenSet and diesel-electric propulsion solutions, while also meeting market demands to balance both CAPEX and OPEX.”

“With the shipping market currently experiencing an increased interest in methanol as marine fuel, and orders for methanol-fuelled ships steadily growing as part of many companies’ decarbonisation strategy, we feel that the introduction of this dual-fuel engine is timely.”

 

Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 16 April 2024

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