OCI NV, MAN Energy Solutions and Hartmann Gas Carriers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.
The partners envisage that OCI, a Netherlands-based producer and distributor of natural gas-based fertilisers and industrial chemicals, will charter vessels owned and operated by Germany’s Hartmann and its commercial arm, GasChem Services, using ammonia-fuelled engines designed by MAN Energy Solutions.
OCI’s core products, ammonia and methanol, are the only practical options for long-distance shipping, the partners believe. With global infrastructure in place, the products can bridge the transition from “grey” to “green” until the industry has fully scaled up to products based solely on renewably energy sources.
MAN’s vice president and head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business, Brian Østergaard Sørensen, commented: “Methanol and ammonia are interesting candidates as zero-carbon fuels. We have already introduced a methanol-burning two-stroke engine, while we expect to deliver the first ammonia-fuelled engine in 2024.”
In addition to newly-built ships, it will be essential to convert existing engines from conventional fuel to methanol and ammonia to meet the IMO’s targets, the companies said, adding that the collaboration will focus on the full spectrum of retrofits and new ships to ensure that as many vessels as possible can achieve compliance in time.
New venture to boost ammonia as marine fuel