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Completed safety study paves way for first ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore

GCMD, DNV, SJ and SMA SP, have completed an ammonia bunkering safety study; GCMD said it is aiming for the first STS for ammonia in Singapore to take place by end 2023.

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The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and its appointed consultant, DNV Maritime Advisory (DNV) supported by Surbana Jurong (SJ) and the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at the Singapore Polytechnic (SP), have completed an ammonia bunkering safety study that was commissioned in January 2022, according to GCMD on Thursday (28 April). 

The risks identified for conducting pilots in the Port of Singapore were found to be low or mitigable, thus paving the way for a pilot project to take place at three identified sites.

GCMD said despite its toxicity and associated risks, green ammonia is one of the potential fuels that can decarbonise the shipping industry.

“With the completion of this study, local regulatory authorities will be able to use the report and its guidelines to deliberate the undertaking of an ammonia bunkering pilot," it added. 

Because ammonia-fuelled vessels are not available today, ammonia transfers in the port waters of Singapore will be first carried out with ammonia carriers to ready stakeholders of the ecosystem for an actual bunkering pilot when ammonia-fuelled vessels are on the water.

A robust set of safety guidelines and operational envelopes

The 9-month-long study has resulted in a report titled “Safety and Operational Guidelines for Piloting Ammonia Bunkering in Singapore”. The study analysed capacity needs and feasible operating concepts; it recommends suitable sites for pilots, and identifies hazards, key risks and mitigation measures. The report also estimated the total capital expenditure for the additional infrastructure buildout needed to operationalise ammonia bunkering at two land-based sites.

For the study, the DNV consortium consulted extensively with 22 Study Partners and obtained feedback from more than 130 Industry and Consultation Alignment Panel (iCAP) members. Conversations with relevant regulators helped refined the analyses. Given the Port of Singapore’s proximity to dense residential areas and operations that see more than 1,000 ships a day, the stringent guidelines to pilot ammonia bunkering that were developed in this GCMD study will likely be applicable to piloting ammonia bunkering at ports elsewhere.

Safety risks can be mitigated

More than 400 potential risks were identified and assessed based on four technically feasible operational concepts: breakbulk and bunkering at anchorage, as well as shore-to-ship transfer and cross-dock transfer at two land-based sites for potential ammonia bunkering. The consortium found the identified risks to be manageable with mitigation measures. The analysis showed that individual fatality and injury risks depend on the flow rate of ammonia, the number of transfer operations, duration per transfer operation, and the length of piping and transfer arms.

Given the small number of ammonia bunkering pilots that would be carried out annually, the individual risks thresholds set by the Major Hazards Department of the Ministry of Manpower are not expected to be triggered. Coarse Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) using a deterministic dispersion model revealed a safety zone of 200 to 400 m for breakbulk and bunkering operations at anchorage with flow rates up to 700 cbm/hr.

Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “This report will inform and enable a GCMD pilot involving ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia in the port waters of Singapore. We are aiming for the first transfer of ammonia to take place by end 2023, subject to obtaining the greenlight from the relevant regulatory agencies. Since ammonia-fuelled vessels are not yet available, we will be conducting the pilot with proxy assets to gain stakeholder competence and confidence so an actual bunkering exercise can commence when ammonia-fuelled vessels are on the water.”

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime, said: “Ammonia holds potential for a future maritime fuel and thus one pathway for the maritime industry’s decarbonization journey. This project will help lay the safety considerations for ammonia bunkering. Safety lies at the heart of the guidelines that DNV helped to develop for this pilot in Singapore. Further pilots and studies are key to understand, assess and mitigate safety risks associated with using ammonia fuel onboard the world fleet.”

Tan Wooi Leong, Managing Director, Energy & Industrial, Surbana Jurong, said: “The study will bolster Singapore’s position as an innovative and responsible global maritime hub leader as it seeks to decarbonise the maritime industry. This study gives authorities a very practical, comprehensive view of the costs associated with designing a port that supports the safe transfer and storage of this toxic but game-changing alternative fuel.”

Beyond the study

In preparation for the next phase of the GCMD project to execute an ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore, GCMD is working with SMA to operationalise the manpower development framework for training operators to handle ammonia as a marine fuel. Already, SMA has incorporated elements from the study to develop the first training course on the handling of ammonia under the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and industry guidelines. This course took place for the first time in March 2023, and registration is open for its next intake. 

Capt Chatur Wahyu, Acting Director of Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA), Singapore Polytechnic (SP) said: ”SMA had recently successfully conducted the Advanced IGF course where the topic on ammonia handling was covered during the programme. SMA is committed to contributing in the efforts towards green shipping and using ammonia as a future source of clean energy for the maritime industry. We hope to upskill more maritime talents to meet the needs of the industry’s changing landscape.”

GCMD is also working closely with Oil Spill Response Limited to develop emergency response procedures, and will be sharing the full report with the Singapore Standards Council to support the development of a technical reference on ammonia bunkering.

A public version of this report, with land-based site identity and site-specific information i.e., their specific operational risk analyses and infrastructure readiness, redacted for commercial sensitivity considerations, is openly available. 

The full report will be made widely available at a later date.

Note: The public version of the report on ‘Ammonia bunkering pilot safety study’ can be downloaded here

Related: DNV selected to lead ‘pioneering’ ammonia bunkering safety study in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 28 April, 2023

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Biofuel

PIL vessel in bio bunker fuel trial transports containers with PSA Singapore

Containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel “Kota Ratna” and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

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PIL transports containers using bio bunker fuel in trial with PSA Singapore

PSA Singapore (PSA) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) on Wednesday (29 May) announced the completion of their first trial of low-carbon green shipments, in a joint effort to build a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain ecosystem.

This pilot trial is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year between the two long-standing partners to collaborate on green and sustainability solutions to decarbonise supply chains. 

The pilot consists of warehouse-to-warehouse cargo flow from Singapore to Chongqing via the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. The containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel Kota Ratna and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

Green levers utilised in this pilot include the use of biofuel on Kota Ratna as well as landside supply chain optimisation by PSA.

The biofuel used for this trial, a blend of 24% used cooking oil with very low sulphur fuel oil, abated about 100 tonnes of carbon, equivalent to planting 4000 trees, and reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 84.1%.

With first-hand data on carbon emissions obtained from this pilot trial, PIL will be better equipped to assess how it can further lower emissions from its vessel operations, not just for its existing ships but also for its eight new LNG dual-fuel container vessels that will be progressively delivered from end 2024.

The PSA Port Ecosystem Business Division leveraged container barging, a greener mode of transportation as compared to trucking, to haul cargo from PSA Jurong Island Terminal to Pasir Panjang Terminal for onward shipment towards Chongqing. 

In addition, the use of container handling equipment powered by electricity and greener alternative fuels at PSA’s ports reduced emissions in the port area.

The collaborative efforts by both partners across the end-to-end supply chain translated to planting one tree for every laden container moved across this value chain.

Philbert Chua, Managing Director, Container Division, PSA Corporation Ltd, said, “The successful completion of this green pilot project with PIL is an important step forward for the maritime and supply chain sector.”

“Combating climate change is one of our urgent priorities and PSA is committed to work with like-minded partners to put these words into action.”

“This concerted teamwork illustrates a step-by-step measurable approach to further decarbonise supply chains and has unlocked opportunities for accelerated action to achieve our net zero goal.”

Abhishek Chawla, Chief Marine Officer, PIL, said, “PIL is pleased to receive promising results from this low-carbon green shipments pilot trial with PSA.”

“With sustainability at the core of PIL’s operations, we are happy to join forces with PSA as we take concrete action to drive a sustainable future. The valuable insights obtained from this trial will empower PIL to further reduce our vessel emissions in the future, as part of our goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

“Working hand in hand with like-minded partners, we can augment each other’s sustainability efforts in creating greener shipping and providing a sustainable net zero model to our customers soon.”

 

Photo credit: PSA Singapore
Published: 30 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

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China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

China Marine Bunker (Petro China) Co., Ltd. (Chimbusco) and Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. on Thursday (23 May) signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly carry out research on the application of marine biofuels and promote pilot projects on the application of biodiesel. 

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. has long been committed to the research and development of comprehensive utilisation of natural oil resources, forming an oil resource recycling industry chain of "industrial oils-biofuels (biodiesel)-biobased materials". 

Qin Ling, secretary of the Party Committee and general manager of Chimbusco said with the implementation of increasingly stringent emissions laws and regulations, the company is actively responding to and adapting to domestic development needs. 

“Through strategic cooperation, the company is locking in the future demand for biofuels,” he said. 

Pingyuan, chairman of Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. said that both firms will rely on their respective advantages and resources and seize new opportunities for carbon reduction in shipping. 

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

 

Photo credit: Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone (Jingang sub-district) Party and Government Office
Published: 30 May 2024

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Wind-assisted

MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

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MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. on Monday (27 May) announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk. 

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

The fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for three of the six vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch firm EconoWind B.V., on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.

MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2" and has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the "introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

 

Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 May 2024

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