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Alternative Fuels

Reed Smith: Benefits and risks of using ammonia as a bunker fuel

It will be interesting to see which industry players start to place orders for ammonia-fueled vessels given the recent surge in orders for dual-fuel methanol vessels, says Voirrey Blount, admiralty manager.

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Voirrey Blount, admiralty manager at international law firm Reed Smith on Friday (14 July) shared with bunkering publication Manifold Times her take on the benefits and risks of using ammonia as a bunker fuel following a recent development regarding Korea Maritime Consultants securing approval in principle from the American Bureau of Shipping for its design of an ammonia-fueled containership:

As the shipping industry seeks to hit the IMO 2050 targets, an ever-increasing amount of fuels are being touted as the game-changer that will help the industry reach those aims.

ABS, a major classification society, has recently approved a small ammonia fuelled vessel to go into production. Ammonia is one of many fuels that has thrown its hat in the ring and this latest ABS approval is an important step forward given the array of difficulties users will face by using ammonia as a fuel.

When ammonia is burnt it produces nitrogen and water, it does not contain any carbon and therefore no CO2 is emitted during combustion. However, whilst being better on the CO2 emissions, ammonia combustion may produce both nitrogen oxide and nitrous oxide as a by-product.

Nitrous oxide is substantially more potent (around 270 times more) in terms of greenhouse effects than CO2. This risk needs to be mitigated and there are various options being explored by the industry such as the use of a catalyst or by tuning the actual combustion process to keep it within a certain temperature and pressure which can stop or severely limit the chance of nitrous oxide being produced. 

When green ammonia (i.e. ammonia produced from air and water using renewable energy) is used, ammonia can be a zero-carbon fuel from a well-to-wake perspective and pending potential future changes to the CII regulations this may be a significant draw when compared to other fuels.

Many smaller vessels operate closer inshore and often find themselves navigating in emissions restricted areas, for example feeder container ships operating in the North Sea and Baltic Sea special sulphur emission control area (SECA). The focus on developing adaptable new-fuel technology for this size of vessel provides an ability for owners to comply with the stringent emission rules and achieve decarbonisation targets faster.

Ammonia is highly toxic to both people and the marine environment, so any on board leak would be a major emergency. Ammonia is often stored under pressure, increasing potential risks when bunkering, and a high level of alignment is needed between international regulators to ensure safety for the shore-side, the vessel and the environment.

It will be interesting to see which industry players start to place orders for ammonia-fueled vessels given the recent surge in orders for dual-fuel methanol vessels.

Related: ABS awards AiP to Korea Maritime Consultants for new ammonia-fuelled container ship

Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Published: 21 July, 2023

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Newbuilding

Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

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Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.

 

Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.

 

Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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