Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG and Hapag-Lloyd AG on Wednesday (25 January) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate options for the supply of ammonia as bunker fuel to Hapag-Lloyd in and around the Port of Hamburg, Germany and also the Port of Houston, Texas, USA.
Together, Mabanaft and Hapag-Lloyd will assess the viability of and the options for the safe handling of clean ammonia as a bunker fuel in and around the Port of Hamburg.
The companies will evaluate the commercial, technical, and regulatory requirements and engage with all relevant stakeholders as part of this initiative. In a second step, a similar assessment will be done for the Port of Houston.
Mabanaft is in the process of developing infrastructure in Hamburg for import and supply of clean ammonia for a lead customer, along with a larger infrastructure investment program, to create a platform for low carbon fuel alternatives.
In November last year, Mabanaft announced the intention to build Germany’s first large-scale, green energy import terminal in Hamburg, together with project partner Air Products.
The project is an important step towards the development of a green ammonia import and distribution infrastructure in the Port of Hamburg. Targeted to provide hydrogen to Germany in 2026, the planned import terminal is to be located at Mabanaft’s existing Blumensand terminal in the port.
Furthermore, Mabanaft is a shareholder in Gulf Coast Ammonia LLC (GCA), a world-scale ammonia production facility in Texas City, Texas, scheduled for commissioning by mid-2023.
To provide the international shipping industry with a future-ready fuel option, Mabanaft is securing clean ammonia supply and exploring opportunities for the development of related bunkering infrastructure in and around the Port of Hamburg and along the United States Gulf Coast.
“We play an active role in shaping the energy transition and offer our customers innovative fuel solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” explains Volker Ebeling, Senior Vice President of New Energy, Chemicals & Gas at Mabanaft.
“In shipping, we intend to support that transition for example through investments in ammonia production and the development of related supply infrastructure”.
Ammonia is already a critical feedstock for the chemical industry, and it offers several advantages also in other industries, like shipping. The gas itself is not a greenhouse gas, it combusts completely without emitting any CO2, and it only releases nitrogen and water. This has prompted the first pilot tests in Norway to operate ships in a climate-friendly way using ammonia.
Tony Elliott, Head of Ammonia at Mabanaft, is convinced about the opportunities for ammonia in the shipping industry; “Ammonia has the potential to play an important role in decarbonising the global maritime industry. It has a higher energy density compared to, for example, pure hydrogen and is more easily transported and stored”, he says.
Hapag-Lloyd is a global liner shipping company involved in the transportation of containers across the world and is directly purchasing marine bunker fuels as an essential part of its operational activities. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company is looking for reliable suppliers of zero-carbon fuels in key strategic ports.
“When produced with renewable energy, ammonia is a promising sustainable fuel that may become an integral part of the energy mix of future maritime shipping. We look forward to this partnership with Mabanaft and to jointly making progress on the industry’s path towards climate neutrality” says Jan Christensen, Senior Director Global Fuel Purchasing at Hapag-Lloyd.
Nevertheless, decarbonisation of the shipping industry is a global challenge, requiring action and commitments from all stakeholders across the industry. Global solutions will require a global policy framework that supports a range of processes to make ammonia an accessible zero-carbon fuel.
Photo credit: Mabanaft
Published: 26 January, 2023
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