Japan-based Itochu Corporation has this week formed a joint study framework of 23 companies and organizations with the objective of collaboratively discussing common issues in pursuit of the utilization of ammonia as an alternative marine fuel, Bureau Veritas said Friday.

The aim of the Joint Study Framework is to verify and organize common issues regarding the use of ammonia as a maritime fuel, which is a new challenge for maritime stakeholders. 

Also, BV said this was a step toward advancing an integrated project involving Itochu and its partner companies working to develop ships using ammonia fuels and establish a global ammonia supply chain.  

Recently, 11 companies and organizations have joined this joint study framework, which now includes a total of 34 companies and organizations. 

The 11 companies and organizations include Anglo Eastern Ship Management; BHP; Bureau Veritas; CMA CGM; INPEX; JFE Steel; Lloyd’s Register; Maersk; Navios Group; Rio Tinto; and Vitol Asia. 

This expansion marks a high level of interest in the utilization of ammonia as an alternative maritime fuel.

In 2021, the Joint Study Framework will discuss common issues including (1) Safety assessment of NH3 fuel ship under guideline, (2) Safety assessment of NH3 bunkering, (3) NH3 fuel specification, and (4) NET CO2 emission at NH3 production. 

The discussion has included collaborators from CF Industries, Nutrien, and Yara, major ammonia producers. Going forward, the Joint Study Framework will seek to share opinions, views, expertise, and experience with other ammonia producers, related international organizations, port authorities, and regulators in potential bunkering countries.

Alex Gregg Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Executive, M&O North Asia & China at Bureau Veritas said: “Ammonia is a strong candidate as an alternative fuel in the Maritime industry. We need R&D and collaboration to assess its full potential. The work of this Coalition will certainly bring real insights and expertise to develop the innovative solutions we need.”

Participating Members:
ABS, ANGLO AMERICAN, ANGLO EASTERN, BHP, BUREAU VERITAS, CLASSNK, CMA CGM, DNV, EQUINOR, FORTESCUE FUTURE INDUSTRIES, GENCO SHIPPING & TRADING, INPEX, JERA, JFE STEEL, K-LINE, LLOYD’S REGISTER, MAERSK, MAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS, MITSUI E&S MACHINERY, NAVIOS GROUP, NIHON SHIPYARD, NS UNITED, PAVILION ENERGY, RIO TINTO, TOTALENERGIES, TRAFIGURA, UBE INDUSTRIES, UNIPER SE, UYENO TRANSTECH, VALE, VITOL ASIA, VOPAK TERMINAL SINGAPORE, ITOCHU ENEX, and ITOCHU.

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