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US East coast ports launch green ammonia feasibility study

Posted on April 10, 2023

The increasing promise of green ammonia in the maritime industries is rapidly being recognised. Now some major players in the maritime industry have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to undertake a feasibility study of green ammonia to fuel ships operating on the east coast of the United States.

Ammonia is a promising alternative marine fuel for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. It does not emit CO2 when burned and aligns with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal of halving emissions by 2050. Green ammonia produced from renewable sources is carbon-free and can provide significant environmental benefits.

The participants of the study include many heavy-hitters in the industry, including the American Bureau of Shipping, A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk), Fleet Management Limited, Georgia Ports Authority, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping, Savage Services, Sumitomo Corporation and TOTE Services.

The real-world study is slated to be centred on the third busiest containerised port in the US—the Port of Savannah.

The study is aimed at the development of a cost-effective green ammonia supply chain. It will look at all aspects of the operation from the commercial production of ammonia fuel, to ammonia bunkering, to safety and standards assessment, and even the design of an Ammonia Bunkering Articulated Tug-Barge (AB-ATB).

Morten Bo Christiansen, Head of Energy Transition at A.P. Moller-Maersk, said, “At Maersk, we are committed to net zero by 2040. To achieve this, we need huge amounts of green fuel for our ships. For now, green methanol is the only pathway that is certain to have material impact in this decade, and we are happy to see the momentum that is building in the shipping industry on this pathway.”

A new venture of this kind inevitably involves a certain element of risk, and Maersk will provide input specific to container vessels and will work on development of safe and reliable ammonia bunkering procedures from the operator’s point of view.

Naturally, Government agencies will be involved in the process to ensure standardisation of operations and regulations in the critical area of safety in ammonia bunkering operations.


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