Yara and MPA Singapore join ammonia-fuelled tanker project

Yara and MPA Singapore join ammonia-fuelled tanker project

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Yara International (Yara) have joined an ammonia-fuelled tanker Joint Development Project (JDP). The duo join MISC Berhad (MISC), Lloyd’s Register (LR), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and MAN Energy Solutions (MAN), in the coalition known as The Castor Initiative. 

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 into 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 on addressing this global challenge.

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

MPA chief executive, Ms Quah Ley Hoon, commented: “Decarbonisation remains a key priority for the maritime sector, not just in Singapore but globally. As a transhipment 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.”

MISC president and group CEO, Yee Yang Chien said: “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 The Castor Initiative; with absolute collaboration and commitment from principal key stakeholders in the shipping industry. We are certainly excited with the expansion of the alliance and look forward to unlocking new possibilities to accomplish our GHG aspirations ahead of 2050 together with MPA and Yara, both of which are global leaders in their respective areas of authority and expertise.”

LR group CEO, Nick Brown stated: “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). The calibre of the partners involved in this JDP as well as the milestones agreed are testament to the maritime industry’s determination to deliver on the IMO’s 2050 GHG ambitions.”