TotalEnergies Marine Fuels Participates in Joint Study of Ammonia Bunkering Safety for an Ammonia-fueled Container Carrier

Singapore, Sep 26, 2023 – TotalEnergies Marine Fuels has joined Japan’s Itochu Corp and eight other companies to study critical safety aspects of bunkering container vessels with ammonia in a bid to develop the carbon-free fuel into a feasible, sustainable marine fuel.

The study will carry out a safety assessment of bunkering with ammonia while a container ship is being loaded or unloaded with cargo. Ensuring safety during the conduct of two unlinked operations  so-called simultaneous operations   is particularly complex but such operations are a must for container vessels to operate at maximum efficiency. The marine fuels entity of TotalEnergies can leverage on its robust experience from enabling the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel to contribute towards developing the necessary supply chain, infrastructure and best practices for bunkering this new fuel in container vessels.

Ammonia is one of a handful of fuel candidates with the potential to become a viable zero-carbon marine fuel, thus helping the shipping industry to decarbonize. It is commonly traded, used globally in fertilizers and can be shipped by ordinary LPG carriers. However, there are challenges to ammonia as a marine fuel, not least, addressing concerns around its toxicity and lower energy density than conventional fuels.

The companies and organizations involved in the study are Algeciras Port Authority, Spain; Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD), Singapore; CMA CGM, France; Maersk A/S, Denmark; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan; Pavilion Energy Singapore, Singapore; PSA Corporation, Singapore; TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, Singapore; and ITOCHU.

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Execution of Memorandum of Understanding for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Ammonia-fueled Container Carrier

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President and COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) has executed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Joint Study of Ammonia Bunkering Safety for an Ammonia-fueled Container Carrier (“MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier”) among 8 companies and organizations*1 with the aim of implementing the use of ammonia as a marine fuel in shipping industry. Through this cooperation, well-known companies and organizations will come together to discuss and study safety issues during ammonia bunkering of a container carrier that uses ammonia as a main fuel.

Ammonia is advancing as a key zero-emission marine fuel solution. Using Ammonia as a Marine Fuel will greatly contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction in the shipping industry. This MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is an important milestone for social implementation of the use of ammonia as marine fuel on a global scale, and also a necessary step toward the realization of the Integrated Project consisting of the construction of a global ammonia supply chain and the development of ammonia-fueled ships by ITOCHU and its partner companies.

A joint study that will be carried out under this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is a successive phase of the existing Joint Study Framework*2 launched in 2021 by 34 companies and organizations including ITOCHU and Joint Study Framework for Ammonia Bunkering Safety*3 launched in 2022 by 16 companies and organizations including ITOCHU, and focused on discussion and study of safety issues of ammonia bunkering to ammonia-fueled container carriers among experts from port authorities, container liner operators, bunkering related players and shipping company. A key subject of the joint study under this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is the safety assessment for simultaneous operations of container cargo operations and ammonia bunkering in a container terminal, which is generally required for container carriers to achieve operational efficiencies.

ITOCHU is promoting a development of ammonia-fueled container carriers with potential partners following the development of ammonia-fueled bulk carrier, which obtained Approval in Principle*4 in 2022. ITOCHU will accelerate the development of an ammonia-fueled container carrier based on findings of this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier and plans to bring it to the international shipping market in late 2020s.

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.