American Bureau of Shipping Conducting Study to Advance Adoption of Ammonia as Marine Fuel Alternative

April 1, 2024
The partners will explore the possibility of utilizing CALAMCO’s existing ammonia storage terminal at the Port of Stockton to conduct a pilot demonstration project on ship-to-ship refueling in the US West Coast

The American Bureau of Shipping, CALAMCO, Fleet Management Limited, Sumitomo Corporation, and TOTE Services have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly conduct a feasibility study and establish a comprehensive supply chain to provide clean ammonia for ship-to-ship refueling at major ports in the US West Coast.

In 2018, delegates of the United Nations agreed to reduce maritime shipping emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050. To accomplish this, many companies are turning towards ammonia – a promising alternative marine fuel.

“We are pleased to lend our technical expertise to this important clean ammonia study, which ultimately aims to facilitate carbon-free trade between the Far East and the US West Coast,” said Kishore Rajvanshy, Managing Director at Fleet Management Limited.

According to IEEE, ammonia is an abundant and common colorless fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide when combusted. It can be produced using renewable electricity, water, and air, and it is compatible with fuel cells and internal combustion engines. However, unlike hydrogen, ammonia does not need to be stored in high-pressure tanks or cryogenic dewars, and it has been found to be 10 times more energy-dense than a lithium-ion battery.

During the feasibility study, the partners will explore the possibility of utilizing CALAMCO’s existing ammonia storage terminal at the Port of Stockton to conduct a pilot demonstration project. The project will focus on ammonia bunkering for car carriers calling at the Port of Benicia and container vessels calling at the Port of Oakland.

Safety assessments will also be conducted during the project in collaboration with relevant government agencies and experts in the US to formulate standards for using ammonia as a marine fuel and develop standardization for safe operation and regulations.

“We embark on our ambition to build the first ship-to-ship ammonia bunkering base in the US West Coast, in addition to Singapore, Oman, and the US East Coast, which highlights our commitment to offer our customers the best available and technologically proven solution to reduce the emission footprint from the maritime transport,” said Koji Endo, General Manager of Energy Division at Sumitomo.