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Friday, July 30, 2021 

A joint industry study framework set up by Tokyo-based Itochu Corporation with the objective of collaboratively discussing common issues in pursuit of the use of ammonia (NH3) as marine fuel - now numbers 34 companies and organisations, with an additional 11 having recently joined.

The latest 11 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 is said to provide an indicator of the high level of interest in 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, view, expertise, and experience with other ammonia producers, related international organizations, port authorities and regulators in potential bunkering countries.

The aim of the Joint Study Framework is to verify and organise common issues regarding the use of ammonia as a maritime fuel, which is a new challenge for maritime stakeholders. Also, this is 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. For its part, Itochu will accelerate the development of sustainable energy systems through these initiatives and ensure its contributions to the SDGs and improvement of related efforts, one of the basic policies laid out in its new medium-term management plan, as the company pursues a low-carbon society.

Alex Gregg Smith, SVP and CEO, M&O North Asia & China, 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 are: 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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