European shipping players call on EU to promote green hydrogen and ammonia as marine fuel

Several European shipping industry players and environmentalists have jointly sent an open letter to the European Commission to use the FuelEU Maritime initiative to promote the development of green hydrogen and ammonia as fuels for shipping. 

In the letter, shipping companies DFDS, CMB and Viking Cruises, commodities trader Trafigura, and green group Transport & Environment (T&E) claim that green hydrogen and ammonia are sustainable and can be produced in sufficient quantities to decarbonise the industry, adding that biofuels do not offer a sustainable alternative for shipping as crop-based biofuels emit more than the fossil fuels they replace and there will not be enough advanced biofuels.

The group has urged lawmakers to send a clear signal to potential investors to focus on renewable electricity-based hydrogen and ammonia when the EU proposes its maritime fuel policy next month.

“Green hydrogen and ammonia offer a clean future for the shipping and fuels industry. The EU must give them the investment certainty they need to flourish by requiring all ships carrying European trade to progressively make the switch,” said Faïg Abbasov, shipping programme director at T&E.

The group believes EUR1.4trn ($1.67trn) in capital investments will be required to produce green hydrogen and ammonia for the shipping industry globally, citing data from the Global Maritime Forum.

“Unlike advanced biofuels, green hydrogen and ammonia can be scaled to meet the energy demand of the global industry. And even the largest ships can be powered by these fuels. It is high time that European Commission changes the focus from quick and dirty biofuels to truly sustainable alternatives,” Abbasov added.

The European Commission will propose its FuelEU Maritime Initiative in April.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.


  1. So called green hydrogen requires a steady state production. Wind and solar power are intermittent at best. How will this circle be squared? producing hydrogen from methane is not an energy efficient process.

    Have all the production, storage, transport, distribution and handling costs associated with the new exotic fuels being advocated really been though through. Some ship operators are keen on bio diesel and are using it in significant quantities already. The performance of methanol and hydrogen powered vessels will be watched very closely when they start to arrive.

    Has the training element for these been factored into any costs associated with the adoption of the new fuels?

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