Ammonia is an alternative course toward zero-carbon emission vessels (ZEV). It is a renewable fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide, and is created from sun, air and water through a process converting atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2).
On January 15th MISC Berhead, Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI), Lloyd’s Register (LR) and MAN Energy Solutions announced that they would collaborate on a joint development project for an ammonia-fuelled tanker. This is a massive drive towards a greener future for the shipping industry. This alliance has been driven by the motivated belief that the shipping industry needs leadership and greater unified work towards reaching the International Maritime Organisation’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission target.
Joon Ou Nam, president and CEO of Samsung Heavy Industries, elaborated; “We are very delighted to be a key member of this meaningful industry collaboration together with competent partners. We all know that the industry–wide movement is vital, and new zero-carbon fuel technologies, such as ammonia fuel, are to be brought on the table, in order to take action proactively on maritime GHG emissions in accordance with the IMO’s ambitious road map.
“We hope SHI’s experience and expertise in novel ship design development will effectively contribute to this joint development project and all JDP partners could get better insight into the feasible and sustainable zero-carbon fuel vessel design solutions.”
This collaboration has followed a year of action in 2019 that saw the launch of Getting to Zero Coalition, a powerful alliance of more than 70 public and private organisations. This partnership is between leading maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance companies who are committed to a commercially viable deep sea ZEV’s powered by zero emission energy sources by 2030. At the global maritime forum held in Singapore in October 2019, over 220 industry leaders congregated to discuss the challenges facing the shipping industry. The upcoming decade will continue to be a dominant drive to decarbonise shipping.
Nick Brown, marine and offshore director at Lloyd’s Register, explained, “As we start the 2020s, we are proud to be among a four-party team to make deep-sea Zero-Emission Vessels (ZEVs) a reality within this decade. The IMO’s 2050 GHG ambitions, which prescribes that international shipping must reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, require substantial and collaborative input from all maritime stakeholders and we are confident the lead taken by this partnership will encourage others to work collectively to address the challenge.
“These are exciting times as we commence the industry’s fourth Propulsion Revolution as during LR’s history we have supported the transition from wind to coal to oil and now look forward to safely decarbonising.”
Currently, Australia is at the forefront of the ‘ammonia economy’ and sees renewable ammonia as a potential source of tax revenues and a boost in local jobs. Australia Pilbara Desert is the home of the largest ammonia plants in the world and continues to produce a mass amount. It is also a bi-product from the farming industry, as it comes in form of fertiliser, so this process will not only provide fuel for the shipping industry, but also will support farmers. It can also be created through the Haber process, which can produce it in industrial scale.
Even though it may be a rather pungent source of fuel, it will be a major drive towards a green and sustainable shipping industry.