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Singapore ammonia bunkering consortium moves forward with ABS AiP

ABS grants AiP to Seaspan, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping for Foreship-designed ammonia-fuelled 15,000 TEU container vessel.

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Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) awarded Seaspan Corporation and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMMCZCS) in collaboration with Foreship an Approval in Principle (AiP) for the design of a 15,000 TEU ammonia-powered container vessel, according to ship design and engineering firm Foreship on Wednesday (26 July).  

The certificates were presented at the ABS office in Copenhagen on 25 July 2023.

In 2022, Seaspan and the MMMCZCS jointly initiated a project to better understand the challenges and opportunities of designing a large ammonia-fueled container vessel. A concept design for a 15,000 TEU container vessel was developed in close collaboration with ship designer Foreship and classification society ABS. 

The project included defining the safety objective, impact of ammonia as a fuel on vessel performance, completion of a hazard identification (HAZID) qualitative risk assessment and development of the concept design. Documentation included a fuel range and endurance analysis, ammonia tank and system location assessments, general arrangement, main machinery and electrical system design, and initial vessel stability calculations.

The project is connected to the Singapore Ammonia Bunkering Feasibility Study (SABRE) consortium, focusing on developing and demonstrating an ammonia supply chain in Singapore. Phase 1 performed an end-to-end technical and commercial feasibility study of ammonia bunkering in Singapore along with a preliminary ammonia bunkering vessel design. Phase 2 is investigating how to mature the commercial feasibility so that contractual terms across the supply chain are prepared and can be executed to establish an ammonia bunkering operation in Singapore. The 15,000 TEU vessel was designed as a potential receiver of ammonia fuel from bunker vessels currently under design and development.  

Peter Jackson, Senior Vice-President Assets & Technology at Seaspan Corporation, said: “This is a very good example of industry collaboration, where leading maritime organizations are working together and taking tangible steps to decarbonise the maritime industry. Ammonia is a very promising future marine fuel and this project is a vital and significant step in the development and realization of ammonia powered containerships.”

Thomas McKenney, Head of Ship Design at Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, said: “This project highlights the importance of collaborative design development and proper safety case integration as the ammonia fuel pathway matures for the maritime industry.”

Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability, said: “This landmark vessel is an important step towards helping ship owners and operators benefit from ammonia’s zero-carbon tank-to-wake emissions profile. However, ABS recognizes that ammonia presents a specific set of safety and technology challenges, and we are committed to leading the industry in supporting its safe adoption at sea.”

Shaun White, Managing Director UK at Foreship Ltd, added: “Foreship has a clear strategy and focuses on decarbonization services and supporting the marine industry to achieve net zero targets. This innovative project demonstrates how Foreship works in collaboration with ship owners, classification societies and research organizations applying industry-leading naval architecture and marine engineering expertise to ship designs using promising alternative fuels.”

A report detailing the concept design, how the ammonia safety case was developed and outcomes from the risk assessment will be published by MMMCZCS. The potential commercialisation of the vessel design concept based on technology and shipyard readiness will be the focus of the next stage of this project.

Manifold Times previously reported Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping revealing the design of the vessel at a summit in Copenhagen.

At Singapore Maritime Week 2022 (SMW 2022), MPA signed a Memoranda of Understanding agreement with the SABRE consortium, comprising the American Bureau of Shipping, Fleet Management Limited, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K-Line), Keppel O&M, A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, and Sumitomo Corporation, to work on development works to establish an integrated ammonia supply chain, with the goal to commence ammonia bunkering within this decade.

Related: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping reveals ammonia-powered boxship design
Related: SMW 2022: MPA inks collaborations to accelerate maritime decarbonisation
Related: SIBCON 2022: Stakeholders discuss the future of Singapore’s bunkering landscape at session finale

 

Photo credit: Foreship
Published: 28 July, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

IUMI: How can liability and compensation regimes adapt to alternative bunker fuels and cargoes?

Existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative marine fuels will bring.

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Dangerous cargo

By Tim Howse, Member of the IUMI Legal & Liability Committee and Vice President, Head of Industry Liaison, Gard (UK) Limited

The world economy is transitioning, with industries across the board seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices. As part of this, there is a huge effort within our industry to look to decarbonise, using alternative fuels such as biofuel, LNG, LPG, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen.

Until now there has been much focus on carbon emissions and operational risks associated with the use of alternative fuels. This includes increased explosivity, flammability, and corrosivity. An ammonia leak causing an explosion in port could result in personal injuries, not to mention property damage, air, and sea pollution. In addition, alternative fuels may not be compatible with existing onboard systems, increasing the risk of breakdowns and fuel loss resulting in pollution. Apart from these safety concerns, which particularly concern crew, air pollution and other environmental impacts need to be addressed.

However, the green transition also presents us with a separate regulatory challenge, which has received less attention so far. So, whilst carbon emissions and safety concerns are rightly on top of the agenda now, the industry also needs to prioritise the potential barriers in the legal and regulatory frameworks which will come sharply into focus if there is an accident.

If anything, historic maritime disasters like the Torrey Canyon spill in 1967, have taught us that we should look at liability and compensation regimes early and with a degree of realism to ensure society is not caught off-guard. With our combined experience, this is perhaps where the insurance industry can really contribute to the transition.

Currently, existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative fuels will bring. For example, an ammonia fuel spill would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (Bunkers Convention), potentially resulting in a non-uniform approach to jurisdiction and liability. Similarly, an ammonia cargo incident would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). Uncertainties may also exist in the carriage of CO2 as part of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects, which may be treated as a pollutant, with corresponding penalties or fines.

A multitude of questions will arise depending on what happens, where it happens, and the values involved, many of which may end up as barriers for would be claimants. How will such claims be regulated, will there be scope for limitation of liability, and would there be a right of direct action against the insurers? In the absence of a uniform international liability, compensation and limitation framework, shipowners, managers, charterers, individual crew, and the insurers may be at the mercy of local actions. Increased concerns about seafarer criminalisation (even where international conventions exist, ‘wrongful’ criminalisation does still occur) may emerge, creating another disincentive to go to sea.

When being carried as a cargo, the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), which is not yet in force, may resolve some of these issues for alternative fuels and CO2. However, until HNS comes into force, there will be no international uniformity to liability and compensation for the carriage of alternative fuels and CO2 as cargoes. This creates uncertainties for potential victims and their insurers, who may face increased risks and costs, due to the potential inability of existing regulations to provide protections.

The situation is even less clear in the case of bunkers. The rules for using alternative fuels as bunkers might require a separate protocol to HNS, a protocol to the Bunkers Convention, or a whole new convention specifically for alternative fuels.  Relevant considerations for the appropriate legislative vehicle include states’ preparedness to reopen the Bunkers Convention, the ability to conclude a protocol to HNS before it comes into force, and whether a multi-tier fund structure is needed for alternative fuels as bunkers (perhaps unnecessary because bunkers are usually carried in smaller quantities compared to cargoes).

Until then, what we are left with are the existing international protective funds, designed to respond at the highest levels to pollution claims resulting from an oil spill, without any similar mechanism in place to respond to a spill of alternative fuels, which are themselves so central to a green transition. Somewhat perversely, victims of accidents involving an oil spill may therefore enjoy better protections than victims of an alternative fuels spill.

In summary, while the use of alternative fuels will no doubt help to reduce the industry's carbon footprint, there are safety and practical hurdles to overcome. Stakeholders must also come together to find solutions to complex - and urgent, in relative terms - legal and regulatory challenges.

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Source:  International Union of Marine Insurance
Published: 13 June 2024

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Ammonia

Expert discusses technical considerations of using ammonia as marine fuel

Ammonia as bunker fuel poses significant safety challenges due to its toxicity and flammability, says Senior Marine Surveyor Muammer Akturk.

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Technical considerations of ammonia as marine fuel

Muammer Akturk, a Senior Marine Surveyor specialising in alternative bunker fuels, on Monday (10 June) published an article on technical considerations of using ammonia as a marine fuel in his Alternative Marine Fuels Newsletter.

The article dives into the use of ammonia as a marine fuel, focusing on the safety and technical considerations necessary for its implementation.

Ammonia is recognised for its potential as a zero-carbon fuel, making it an attractive option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. However, it poses significant safety challenges due to its toxicity and flammability.

Key points discussed include:

  1. Safety Measures: The importance of stringent design and operational safety measures to prevent ammonia releases and mitigate risks during both normal and emergency conditions is emphasized. This includes the need for gas dispersion analyses and the use of safety systems like gas detectors and alarms
  2. Regulatory Framework: The article reviews the latest regulations and guidelines developed to ensure the safe use of ammonia as a marine fuel. This includes the IACS Unified Requirement H1, which provides a framework for controlling ammonia releases on vessels
  3. Engineering Considerations: Technical aspects such as fuel storage, handling systems, and the role of risk assessments in identifying potential hazards and implementing preventive measures are detailed
  4. Human Factors: The article also considers the human factors approach to safety, emphasizing training and the importance of designing systems that account for human errorOverall, the article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and solutions associated with using ammonia as a marine fuel, highlighting the importance of safety and regulatory compliance in its adoption.

Editor’s note: The full article can be found at the link here.

 

Published: 13 June 2024

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Methanol

Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service

 

Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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