In August 2020, Alfa Laval, Hafnia, Haldor Topsoe, Vestas, and Siemens Gamesa issued the report “Ammonfuel – an industrial view of ammonia as a marine fuel” based on own industrial expertise and input from a list of competent industrial players.
The ammonfuel report provides ship owners with a comprehensive and up-to-date industrial overview of the applicability, scalability, cost and sustainability of ammonia as a marine fuel.
The shipping industry is facing both known and yet unknown environmental and climate regulations and requirements such as the MARPOL regulations and the IMO targets for greenhouse gas reductions. Many have suggested ammonia as a sustainable marine fuel that can deliver compliance. However, ship investors are left with some key concerns:
Conventional ammonia energy cost is similar to Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) energy cost.
Future green ammonia is the most economic carbon neutral fuel.
Safe ammonia handling is industrially proven.
Ship design will implement safety solutions for handling ammonia on board.
Availability and scalability confirmed.
Global infrastructure largely in place.
Design for ammonia and VLSFO dual fuel operation leaves maximum flexibility to minimize fuel costs and meet future regulations and requirements.
Ammonia availability and production scalability
120 ports already equipped with ammonia trading facilities worldwide.
Annual ammonia production: 180 million tons.
Conventional production over-capacity of 60 million tons/year ensures availability.
Additional ammonia production to meet 30% marine fuel demand in 2050: 150 million tons/year.
Demand for renewable energy to produce green ammonia
400 GW power needed to meet 30% of future marine fuel demand In 2019 alone, 184 GW additional power production was installed.
Cost of energy from VLSFO or ammonia.
12.5–15 $/GJ for VLSFO (primo 2020, price is volatile).
13.5 $/GJ for today’s conventional ammonia (stable since ultimo 2018).
13.5–15 $/GJ forecasted cost for green ammonia from solar and wind energy in 2040–2050.
16–21.5 $/GJ for carbon neutral ammonia as dual fuel in 2025–2030.
Safety and applicability
17.5 million tons ammonia safely traded and transported yearly by ship, truck, and train.
Existing practices and know-how for a safe ammonia handling are established in the Marine and other industries and adaptable for ammonia as a fuel.
Dual fuel ammonia engine forecasted availability from 2024
Ammonia is a carbon and sulfur free fuel.
Green ammonia is produced entirely from renewable electricity, water, and air. Unlike sustainable carbon-based fuels, the green ammonia feedstocks are unlimited.
Ammonia can burn in an internal combustion engine with no SOX, CO2, or particulate emissions.
The installation of catalytic (SCR) technology eliminates N2O/NOX emissions to very low levels leaving an exhaust of nitrogen and water.
Ammonia is metabolized in the environment and does not build-up.