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Fortescue successfully conducts world’s first ammonia bunker fuel trial in Singapore

Five cubic metres of liquid ammonia used for the fuel trial was supplied by Vopak; ship received flag approval from SRS and ‘Gas Fuelled Ammonia’ notation by DNV.

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Fortescue successfully conducts world’s first ammonia bunker fuel trial in Singapore

Fortescue has successfully conducted the world's first use of ammonia, in combination with diesel in the combustion process, as a marine fuel onboard the Singapore-flagged ammonia-powered vessel Fortescue GreenPioneer in the Port of Singapore, says Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Australian mining firm on Friday (15 March.)

The Fortescue Green Pioneer was loaded with liquid ammonia from the existing ammonia facility at Vopak Banyan Terminal on Jurong Island for the fuel trial.

In completing the fuel trial, the Fortescue Green Pioneer has also received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the “Gas Fuelled Ammonia” notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel.

The five cubic metres (three tonnes) of liquid ammonia used for the fuel trial was supplied by Vopak using its existing infrastructure at the 10,000m3 Vopak Banyan Terminal on Jurong Island. 

As part of the risk management, extensive pre-operations, safety checks and tests were conducted. 

A second tranche of three tonnes of liquid ammonia will be loaded for the Fortescue Green Pioneer to conduct further tests and trials over the next few weeks.

The ammonia fuel loading, a first for Vopak globally using its existing infrastructure in Singapore, reaffirms the potential for using existing and similar ammonia infrastructure cost- effectively by terminals globally to support the operationalisation, commercialisation and progressive scale-up of ammonia as a marine fuel for international shipping.

The Fortescue Green Pioneer started its journey towards becoming the world’s first ocean-going ammonia-powered vessel in 2022 when Fortescue successfully converted a four-stroke engine to run on ammonia, in combination with diesel, at its land-based testing facility in Perth, Western Australia.

Following the success of the land-based testing, conversion work commenced on the vessel at Seatrium’s Benoi yard from July 2023. This included the installation of the gas fuel delivery system, safety systems and infrastructure, and the successful conversion of two of the vessel’s four engines to enable the use of ammonia, combined with diesel in the combustion process, to power the vessel. The two remaining engines onboard the Fortescue Green Pioneer will operate on conventional fuels when required.

In preparation for the vessel’s operations in Singapore, Hazard Identification Study and Hazard and Operability Study workshops were jointly organised by MPA, Fortescue, Vopak, research institutes, and industry partners to identify the potential risks during fuel transfer and engine trials and to develop the necessary prevention, control, and mitigation measures.

Trainings, including gas-specific Hazardous Materials emergency responses, and MPA-led safety drills, were also conducted to assess the operational readiness and preparedness of crew during an incident. All crew attained the necessary proficiencies on the new enhanced procedures prior to the conduct of the trials.

An ammonia plume model was jointly developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Institute of High Performance Computing (A*STAR’s IHPC), Nanyang Technological University’s Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD), the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), and the National University of Singapore’s Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) to determine the safety envelope, model the dispersion of an ammonia plume in an event of an incident, and to support the safety and incident response planning. 

The model, which accounted for the Fortescue Green Pioneer’s vessel and engine design parameters, behaviour of ammonia within Singapore’s tropical climate, sea current conditions, and surrounding vessels, infrastructure, and geometries, was used to guide the operations. It will be continually enhanced as operations for new maritime fuels scale up in the Port of Singapore.

First Ammonia Fuel Trial in Singapore

An Emergency Operations Centre was also set up at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre for representatives of MPA, Fortescue, Vopak, research institutes, and government agencies to monitor the operations, which was supported by a drone-enabled live stream operated by Skyports Drone Services.

The fuel trial was conducted over a period of seven weeks and included rigorous testing of the Fortescue Green Pioneer’s ammonia storage systems, associated piping, gas fuel delivery system, retrofitted engines, and seaworthiness. The tests were conducted in phases to ensure safe port operations and safety for crew members and engineers who have completed a series of rigorous training sessions since October 2023. 

As part of the safety protocols for the conduct of these tests, crew members also donned personal protection equipment such as chemical protection suits, nitrile chemical gloves, rubber boots, positive pressure mask and hood, and portable gas detectors for the relevant operations.

The two four-stroke retrofitted engines served as proxy for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled marine engines under development globally. The post-combustion nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels met the local air quality standard, while efforts to reduce the pilot fuel for combustion ignition and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions post-combustion will continue as more ammonia-fuelled marine engines and ammonia sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions become available.

Classification by DNV

Fortescue engaged DNV to be part of the innovation process from the very early stages of this project. 

The Fortescue Green Pioneer’s ammonia fuel systems and engine conversion received class approval by DNV based on DNV’s Technology Qualification process to ensure that the new technology and systems fitted onboard, which were not covered under existing regulations, will function within specified limits and acceptable levels of confidence.

Prior to issuance of the relevant statutory certificates by DNV on behalf of the Singapore Registry of Ships, MPA worked closely with DNV and Fortescue on the technical assessment of the vessel and the approval process of the vessel’s ammonia safety systems and design under the SOLAS regulation2 on alternative design and arrangements.

Milestone for International Shipping

Following the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation in Singapore in July 2023 and the implementation of digital bunkering operations from November 2023, the successful conduct of this ammonia fuel trial on board the Fortescue Green Pioneer marks a significant milestone in Singapore’s multi-fuel bunkering capability development to support the digitalisation, decarbonisation, and manpower development for international shipping. 

The collective support provided for such trials also demonstrates the facilitative regulatory environment, and the strong research and tripartite ecosystem in Singapore to support the conduct of trials and scale-up operations for new maritime fuels. 

Shortlisted consortia from an earlier Expression of Interest for an ammonia power generation and bunkering solution on Jurong Island are currently involved in a closed Request for Proposal exercise to select a lead developer for the project.

MPA and Fortescue will present key learning points from the trials at suitable platforms as well as at other international fora in the future.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “The safe conduct of this fuel trial supports the holistic assessment of the use of ammonia as a marine fuel, and the development of standards and safety procedures. This will inform the crew training, emergency and bunkering procedures which MPA, agencies and the tripartite community are developing in support of making available safe and cost-efficient solutions as MaritimeSG and the international shipping community undergo the energy transition.”

Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: MPA Chief Executive: Port of Singapore begins digital bunkering initiative today
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 15 March 2024

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Business

Auramarine appoints Tuomas Häkkinen as Director Business Line Projects

Appointment comes at a pivotal time for Auramarine as firm continues to expand offerings and strengthen its position as a provider of future fuel supply systems, including methanol and ammonia.

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Auramarine appoints Tuomas Häkkinen as Director Business Line Projects

Finland-based fuel supply systems provider Auramarine Ltd on Thursday (23 May) announced the appointment of Tuomas Häkkinen as the Director Business Line Projects. 

The strategic addition to the leadership team marks a significant step forward in enhancing the company’s market presence, customer engagement, and sustainability efforts in the maritime sector.

Häkkinen holds a master’s degree in Naval Architecture and Maritime Engineering from Aalto University. With more than 10 years’ of customer-centric experience in services, sales, account management and business development, Häkkinen’s extensive background includes key roles at NAPA, the leading provider of maritime software, services, and data analysis.

This appointment comes at a pivotal time for Auramarine, as the company continues to expand its offerings and strengthen its position as one of the leading providers of future fuel supply systems, including methanol and ammonia. 

With Häkkinen at the helm of the sales and projects team, Auramarine is well-positioned to accelerate its growth, deliver exceptional value to its customers, and achieve its sustainability goals.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tuomas Häkkinen to our team,” says John Bergman, CEO of Auramarine Ltd. 

“His in-depth knowledge of the marine sector and exceptional leadership skills will be invaluable as we continue to innovate and deliver high-quality fuel systems and maritime applications to our customers.”

“Additionally, his commitment to sustainability aligns perfectly with our company’s goals of reducing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainable practices in supporting the maritime industry to meet its decarbonisation targets.”

In his new role, Häkkinen will be responsible for overseeing all sales in the projects business line, developing and implementing sales strategies, and strengthening relationships with key customers in the marine sector. He will also play a critical role in identifying new market opportunities and driving the company’s expansion into new business areas.

“I am excited to join Auramarine and lead the sales team at a time when the business dynamics of the whole marine sector is changing,” said Häkkinen, Director Business Line Projects of Auramarine Ltd. 

“I look forward to working closely with our talented team to build on the company’s strong foundation and drive our mission of delivering cutting-edge, sustainable fuel and auxiliary systems that meet the highest standards of performance and reliability.”

 

Photo credit: Auramarine
Published: 27 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

LR awards AiP to Seaspan Corporation for next-gen feeder ship design

Vessel, developed by Technolog, is future-proofed in its design and can be efficiently converted from LNG to ammonia propulsion during its lifetime.

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LR awards AiP to Seaspan Corporation for next-gen feeder ship design

Lloyd's Register (LR) on Wednesday (22 May) has awarded Approval in Principle (AiP) to Seaspan Corporation for its innovative Next Generation Feeder Ship Design. 

The vessel, measuring 198 m in length and developed by Technolog, is future-proofed in its design and can be efficiently converted from LNG to ammonia fuel during its lifetime.

Completion of the AiP process for the feeder ship design underscores Seaspan's commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions in support of its customers decarbonisation journeys. 

By collaborating with Technolog and LR, Seaspan has developed a solution that meets current market demands and anticipates future challenges and opportunities in the maritime industry.

The unique design of the Next Generation Feeder Ship showcases the direction that ship design may take in the future. By completing the AiP process, Seaspan, Technolog, and Lloyd's Register have laid the groundwork for future advancements in feeder vessel technology in this rapidly evolving space.

The project builds on the previous work LR has conducted with Seaspan Corporation. Seaspan is a founding partner of several LR Safety Tech Accelerator initiatives, including Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation Initiative and Cargo Fire and Loss Innovation Initiative. Seaspan and LR are also collaborating on initiatives focusing on how the energy transition is affecting seafarer safety.  

LR, Seaspan and Technolog all look forward to beginning work on phase 2 of this project, which will be a DF Ammonia Feeder Vessel.

Andy McKeran, Chief Commercial Officer at Lloyd's Register, said: "We are very pleased to grant Approval in Principle to Seaspan for their innovative Next Generation Feeder Vessel Design.”

“This achievement highlights Seaspan's dedication to excellence and sustainability in maritime transportation and LR remains committed to supporting industry leaders like Seaspan in their pursuit of cutting-edge solutions that drive positive change and set new standards for the future of shipping."

Peter Jackson, SVP of Assets and Technology at Seaspan Corporation, said: “We are committed to providing creative solutions to our customers in support of their decarbonisation journey and the best way to do this is through partnerships and collaborations with industry leaders such as LR and Technolog.”

“Seaspan and LR have partnered to address important topics for many years, and this is an excellent result of one of those partnerships. Technolog’s input has also provided a creative solution and demonstrated their leadership in the ship design and Feeder Ship segment.”

 

Photo credit: Lloyd's Register
Published: 23 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Specs Corporation to be official Auramarine sales rep for fuel supply units in South Korea

This includes its conventional systems, as well as its specialist solutions for methanol and ammonia bunker fuels, and will be applicable for newbuildings, retrofits, commissioning and maintenance services.

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Japan: NS United orders methanol-powered bulk carriers

Auramarine, provider of marine fuel supply systems, on Wednesday (15 April) has announced that it has signed a representative agreement with Specs Corporation Ltd., a Korean marine equipment and services provider. 

The firm said the strategic partnership underscores Auramarine’s commitment to delivering solutions to the maritime sector and strengthens the company’s presence in the South Korean market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Specs Corporation will serve as an official Auramarine sales representative for its fuel supply units. This includes its conventional systems, as well as its specialist solutions for methanol and ammonia, and will be applicable for newbuildings, retrofits, commissioning and maintenance services. 

The collaboration will enable Auramarine to leverage Specs Corporation’s extensive network and expertise in providing services to South Korean shipyards, engine manufacturers and ship owners.

John Bergman, CEO of Auramarine, said: “We are delighted to embark on this journey with Specs Corporation as our trusted partner in the important South Korean market.”

“They have been serving engine manufacturers for a long time, have close and collaborative relationships with shipowners and shipyards and a deep knowledge of exactly what is required from fuel supply systems.”

“Importantly, Spec’s established reputation and forward-thinking vision align seamlessly with our own, making them an ideal partner.”

Mr. Leeman Lee, President of Specs Corporation Ltd, also said: “Spec Corporation’s mission is based on providing superior performance, service, and solutions to ensure customer satisfaction.”

“We are delighted to welcome Auramarine to our portfolio of market-leading technologies.”

“We both share the drive to be a part of the energy transition within the industry and this collaboration, which includes fuel supply systems for methanol and ammonia, represents a clear step forward in our commitment to offering cutting-edge solutions to the South Korean maritime industry that drive increased sustainability.” 

Photo credit: Auramarine
Published: 16 May 2024

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