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Singapore: MPA and Yara Intl in Ammonia-fuelled tanker Joint Development Project

24 Feb 2021

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (24 February) said it has joined the Ammonia-fuelled tanker Joint Development Project (JDP) whose partners include MISC Berhad (MISC), Lloyd’s Register (LR), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and MAN Energy Solutions (MAN).

The membership was announced at a recent webinar focused on Ammonia as a Shipping Fuel which was organized by the Getting to Zero Coalition’s Fuels & Technologies workstream. Alongside MPA, Yara International ASA (Yara) was also announced as a new partner of the consortium.

The JDP partners also went on to announce a name for the expanded coalition – The Castor Initiative.

Leading fertilizer company – Yara will work alongside MISC, LR, SHI and MAN to develop ammonia propulsion ships to support the maritime industry’s drive to decarbonisation.

In addition, the consortium will be able to tap onto MPA’s experience as a bunkering hub and flag state to gather insights on safety issues and ammonia bunkering procedures, and gain access to research capabilities in Singapore.

The addition of MPA and Yara means that the alliance, which was first unveiled in January 2020, now has a complete representation from all areas of the maritime ecosystem. The experience and expertise of each partner will be central to the success of the initiative, from conception to project realisation. 

This announcement follows a key project milestone in September 2020 when LR awarded Approval in Principle to SHI for its ammonia-fuelled tanker design with the aim of commercialising these developments by 2024.

To meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2050 ambitions on halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2008 levels, zero-carbon vessels need to enter the world fleet by 2030. The JDP was motivated by the partners’ shared belief that the maritime industry needs leadership and greater collaboration if shipping is to meet the IMO’s GHG ambitions.

While ammonia is one of the fuels being considered by maritime stakeholders, the partners also recognise that the shipping industry will need to explore multiple decarbonisation pathways and hope their collaboration will spur others in the maritime industry to join forces in addressing this global challenge.

“Decarbonisation remains a key priority for the maritime sector, not just in Singapore but globally. As a transshipment and bunkering hub, we are committed to meet IMO2030/2050 decarbonisation goals. We are also looking forward to collaborating with like-minded industry partners to support the development and trials of alternative future marine fuels such as ammonia,” said MPA Chief Executive, Quah Ley Hoon. 

“Supporting the enabling role of ammonia in the energy transition, we recognize the need for value chain collaboration to make zero emission shipping by using ammonia as a fuel a reality,” added Magnus Ankarstrand, EVP Clean Ammonia, Yara.

“We are honoured to have MPA and Yara join us as partners on this journey to develop deep sea zero carbon vessels. This JDP has come a long way since our inception in January 2020 and it now stands complete as Castor Initiative; with absolute collaboration and commitment from principal key stakeholders in the shipping industry,” said Yee Yang Chien , MISC President and Group CEO.

“Making deep-sea zero-carbon vessels a reality within this decade calls for leadership commitment and collaborative action.  Lloyd’s Register welcomes the expertise that the MPA and Yara will bring to the ammonia-fuelled tanker joint development project (JDP),” noted Nick Brown, LR Group CEO. 

“In the course of energy transition, joining this JDP towards developing zero-carbon vessels coincides with our endeavor to find sustainable growth momentum and fulfill our social responsibility for a clean environment,” added Jin Taek Jung, SHI President and CEO. 

“The long-term journey to realize zero-carbon and ultimately zero-emission vessels requires extensive cooperation of the stakeholders in the maritime industry. In light of this, participation of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Yara raises our expectations for the outcome of this JDP by adding expertise and fostering an ecosystem of the JDP partners playing a key role in the fields encompassing ammonia supply to operating vessels.”

“We are looking forward to working with such distinguished industry partners on this joint development project that is so closely aligned with our own strategy to develop sustainable technologies. In this respect, ammonia is a very interesting candidate as a zero-carbon fuel,” said Brian Østergaard Sørensen – Vice President and Head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business – at MAN Energy Solutions.

“The right engine technology is key to decarbonisation and MAN Energy Solutions already has a convincing track-record in developing engines that run on alternative fuels. We look forward to adding our expertise to this study.”

Related: Lloyd’s Register grants AiP to Samsung Heavy Industries ammonia-fuelled tanker design
Related: Maritime industry players join forces on ammonia-fuelled tanker project

Photo credit: Global Maritime Forum
Published: 24 February, 2021

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