Earlier this month Haldor Topsøe and four partners issued Ammonfuel – an industrial view of ammonia as marine fuel. According to the accompanying press release, the 59-page report provides “a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the applicability, scalability, cost, and sustainability of ammonia as a marine fuel.” The partners include Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Hafnia, and Alfa Laval.
The report summarizes the case for ammonia as a bunker fuel:
… ammonia is not only an attractive long-term solution for carbon neutrality but also can have a strategic role in the transition phase. By shifting gradually from fossil-fuel based ammonia to green ammonia, the CO2 footprint can be progressively lowered at low risk for the shipowner, achieving also the sulfur emission requirements.Haldor Topsoe et al., Ammonfuel – an industrial view of ammonia as marine fuel, August 2020
This statement and the more detailed findings in the report reinforce and extend conclusions reached by other parties.
Haldor Topsøe’s confidence in its take on the situation is strengthened by the close involvement of its partners:
The members of the working group contribute to the white paper by their direct expertise in various fields of the entire process: from the renewable energy generation, allowing the production of a zero-carbon footprint ammonia, to the distribution and the use onboard as a fuel. In this way, the white paper can provide the owners with a solid and up to date overview of the applicability, the scalability and the sustainability of the ammonia fueled ship.Haldor Topsoe et al., Ammonfuel – an industrial view of ammonia as marine fuel, August 2020
The Danish company Vestas and Spanish-Danish company Siemens Gamesa represent the renewable energy link of the ammonia energy value chain. The inclusion of two wind power companies presumably reflects the momentum that is gathering around on- and offshore North Sea wind development. Vestas (2019 revenues €12.1 billion / USD $14.4 billion) announced this week that it has won a “443 MW landmark deal [in the Shetland Islands] in the UK that will be Vestas’ largest single wind park in Europe to date.” Siemens Gamesa (2019 revenues €10.2 billion / USD $12.1 billion) has had two announcements since June regarding new projects in the North Sea (“Siemens Gamesa and Trianel Windpark Borkum II celebrate new milestone with offshore service contract for Senvion wind turbines;” and “Siemens Gamesa’s flagship 14 MW turbine to power 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind power project in the UK.”)
Hafnia, with headquarters offices in Singapore and Denmark, describes itself as the “world’s number one product tanker fleet.” It transports “both refined and unrefined petroleum products, including crude oil, as well as fuel oil and vacuum gas oil (dirty products) and gas oil, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and naphtha (clean products).” While it is not involved in ammonia transport, it clearly brings expertise in liquid bulk cargoes to the Haldor Topsoe team. Hafnia had 2019 revenues of USD $828 million.
Alfa Laval is a Swedish engineering and manufacturing company that specializes in technologies involving heat transfer, separation of materials in fluid media, and fluid transfer. It currently provides a long list of products to the maritime industry, including such propulsion-related products as fuel conditioning and exhaust gas treatment systems. Its 2019 revenues were SEK 46.5 billion (USD $5.4 billion).
The Haldor Topsøe team joins a number of other multi-stakeholder groups that have formed to investigate and/or develop systems for ammonia as a bunker fuel. Just to this point in 2020, Ammonia Energy has published articles on five other such groups:
- July 1, 2020: “Wärtsilä, Repsol, and Knutsen to test ammonia four-stroke engine”
- June 25, 2020: “Maersk and partners launch Center for Zero Carbon Shipping”
- May 7, 2020: “Japanese consortium: Imabari, MAN ES, Mitsui, ClassNK, Itochu ENEX, and Itochu”
- March 18, 2020: “Lloyd’s Register: how ammonia can be the ideal renewable marine fuel”
- January 23, 2020: “Viking Energy to be retrofit for ammonia fuel in 2024”