Green ammonia is emerging as a possible future fuel in the shipping sector, supported by shipowners’ efforts to identify alternatives to fossil fuels to meet growing environmental concerns. Global energy and commodity pricing service Argus Media has agreed to share its database of ammonia terminals with DNV GL’s Alternative Fuel Insight online platform, a key industry website that provides information about and promotes the use of alternative fuels.
Ammonia can be used as a transport fuel for ships, replacing carbon-intensive fossil fuels such as fuel oil and marine diesel. Ammonia emits no CO2 when it is burned, unlike most other alternatives. But nearly all ammonia is currently produced from fossil fuels, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions. As the shipping industry adopts increasingly strict environmental regulations, green ammonia, which is produced using entirely renewable electricity, is attracting growing interest as a potential long-term replacement for fossil fuels in shipping.
Some shipping companies are already planning to refit parts of their existing fleet so that they can run on ammonia. Initially this will most likely be so called grey ammonia, which is produced from fossil fuels. As regulatory pressure increases, green ammonia is expected to become competitive and can be used as an alternative drop-in fuel.
Argus has extensive data on ammonia terminals around the world, built up as part of its fertilizer business. This database includes location, capacity and ownership structure, and can now be accessed through a user-friendly map view on the Alternative Fuel Insight online platform operated by DNV GL, a well-known adviser to the maritime and energy industry. Companies seeking data on global availability of ammonia as a marine fuel can access this free of charge.
Argus chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We are happy to share our extensive knowledge of ammonia infrastructure with the shipping industry to help assist with the energy transition and the move towards cleaner transport fuels. Our database will show companies where they can access ammonia around the world.”
The initiative to make such information more widely available has been applauded by the Ammonia Energy Association, which advocates for the use of ammonia in a sustainable energy economy.
Ammonia Energy Association executive director Trevor Brown said: “The maritime sector is urgently searching for answers on how to decarbonise shipping, partially in the coming decades and completely within this century. Ammonia is a leading contender to be one of the sector's future carbon-free fuels, but information about the availability of ammonia has been hard to find, leaving maritime companies with range anxiety and unanswered questions about the necessary infrastructure investments.
Now, the Alternative Fuel Insight platform makes high-quality data on existing ammonia storage infrastructure at ports around the world publicly available. This collaboration between Argus and DNV GL therefore helps to demystify the near-term availability of ammonia, lowers the barrier for adoption of ammonia as a bunker fuel, and accelerates the maritime sector’s transition to carbon-free fuels.”