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Industry leaders collaborate to develop guidance on the safe use of Ammonia as a shipping fuel

View all news from: TotalEnergies
View directory entry for: TotalEnergies

19 April 2021

The Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub (LR) and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping have joined forces in a new project to develop guidance around the safe use of Ammonia as a fuel to support the shipping industry’s drive towards a decarbonised future. Industry partners involved in the project include A.P. Moller-Maersk, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Total.  

Ammonia as a fuel is heavily debated as a suitable long-term solution for maritime as the industry transitions towards a zero- or low carbon value chain. Green ammonia can be produced from renewable power by electrolysis of H2O, ultimately making it a zero-carbon fuel. However, due to the extreme toxicity of the fuel, it is critical to address the safety issues of Ammonia in order to mitigate risks to people, assets and the environment.   

The overarching purpose of the project is to understand and guide the safe use of Ammonia as a fuel on board ships. Part of this will include developing a mature and detailed understanding of risk and safety concerns, which will be assessed through a Quantitative Risk Assessment methodology in phase one of the project. This will ultimately lead to the development of best practices for safeguards in design and arrangements when using Ammonia as a shipping fuel.     

The project will also determine the risk of fatality from unintended releases of Ammonia, as well as determine the risk contribution of key equipment and spaces dedicated to Ammonia storage. To illustrate the potential for risk mitigation measures, the project partners will assess alternate vessel designs, optimised to be fuelled by Ammonia.  

Funded by the participating partners, the project will be managed by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and is expected to run throughout 2021.  

"In the eagerness to decarbonise the shipping sector, proper risk management is critical and safety must not become an afterthought. This project will provide matured understanding of safety risk enabling industry guidance towards future safeguard design and adequate operational guidelines. Enabling safe and adequate deployment of ammonia as marine fuel” said Claus Winter Graugaard, Head of Onboard Vessel Solutions, the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.  

Commenting on the new project, Lloyd’s Register Decarbonisation Programme Manager, Charles Haskell said: "Shipping needs collaboration if the industry is to successfully meet the IMO 2050 targets, and this collaboration between the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping is a significant milestone in this journey. We look forward to working with the project partners, who each represent different areas of the supply chain, in developing guidance, risk mitigation measures and best practice on using Ammonia so that we can support the safe uptake of the fuel.”