Yara is part of a consortium that is developing a first ammonia bunkering terminal in Norway (Source: Azane Fuel Solutions)

New drive to promote ammonia as fuel

Contracts for multi-fuel vessels placed by owners such as Höegh Autoliners are inspiring new initiatives to provide supplies of ammonia as marine fuel. Yara’s Clean Ammonia unit (YCA) is collaborating with partners, including owners, engine manufacturers, and classification society, DNV, to make supplies available.

Oslo-based Yara International, the world’s largest trader of ammonia, has plans to make both blue ammonia – from carbon capture and storage – as well as green ammonia, produced with water, using electrolysis. Christian Berg, YCA’s director for bunkering market development, commented: “There are today 130 ports globally that have ammonia infrastructure, so grey ammonia is already being traded as a cargo and using it as fuel is only a question of certification.”

Grey ammonia is traditionally produced from natural gas and used in fertiliser production, Yara’s main business. But the company is now focusing on the production of blue and green versions of the fuel to cut ammonia’s carbon profile still further.

“Yara is in a unique position as it already has the necessary logistics in place for ammonia with an existing end-to-end value chain comprising production infrastructure, shipping and storage facilities,” Berg said.

YCA is a member of a consortium aiming to develop Norway’s first ammonia terminal, due to be commissioned in 2024. It is backed by a NOK 89 million grant from the country’s Green Platform. The end objective, however, is for a wider bunkering network.

Last September, Höegh signed a letter of intent with China Merchants Heavy Industry to build a series of 9200-ceu Aurora-class ammonia-ready pure car and truck carriers. The first two vessels are currently due for delivery in the second half of 2024.

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Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore