The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) have signed a two-year Coalition Partnership agreement, under which GCMD and SGMF will collaborate to shape standards through developing guidelines on the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.
SGMF’s guidelines for LNG bunkering are said to be widely referenced by ports and users of LNG as a marine fuel. These guidelines address specific requirements for LNG use and establish a framework of competence to safely handle LNG, including operational details for relevant ships and transfer equipment.
In April 2023, GCMD and its appointed consultant DNV Maritime Advisory, supported by Surbana Jurong and the Singapore Maritime Academy at the Singapore Polytechnic, completed a nine-month ammonia bunkering safety study. With inputs from 22 industry partners and feedback from eight regulatory agencies, this report is considered to have deepened collective knowledge for future safe ammonia bunkering, ahead of ammonia bunker tankers and ammonia propelled vessels becoming available.
Ammonia is a chemical feedstock today and is being developed as a low-emissions marine fuel for the future. Findings from GCMD’s ammonia bunkering safety study can support SGMF and its stakeholders to develop guidelines as the maritime industry pivots towards using this low-/zero-carbon fuel. Furthermore, learnings from GCMD’s upcoming ship-to-ship ammonia transfer pilots in port waters can also help enhance ammonia bunkering safety guidelines.
Prof Lynn Loo, GCMD CEO, said: “With SGMF joining as a Coalition Partner, and together with other existing partners, we are confident that we can jointly contribute towards standards development of safe ammonia bunkering internationally. While ammonia vessels are not expected to be on water till 2026, we will need to ready the ecosystem for ammonia bunkering in the meantime by getting guidelines in place if bunkering of vessels is to happen then. We look forward to contributing towards SGMF’s discussions to help accelerate the uptake of low-/zero-carbon fuels by international shipping.”
SGMF COO Mark Bell said: “It is fantastic to see innovation in our industry from all quarters and the initiative from GCMD is one we truly support. South East Asia will always be a natural hub for bunkering and with the challenges maritime faces to decarbonise we are pleased to see this development here. SGMF takes the responsible lead in putting safety first for the use of all low flashpoint fuels under the IGF code, not just LNG and whilst I am pleased we have completed the first lap with LNG – there are many more laps to undertake for the other candidate fuels before we can be confident we have a clear and safe passage. GCMD’s work on ammonia in particular is very welcomed in this respect and we look forward to working with this group.”