Hartmann commits to ammonia future

The ammonia as fuel of the future bandwagon has leapt forward. Dutch fuel provider OCI has signed a memorandum of understanding with engine manufacturing giant MAN Energy Solutions and Germany’s Hartmann Gas Carriers, under which OCI intends to charter ammonia carriers built, owned and operated by Hartmann and its commercial arm, GasChem Services. These new ships will feature ammonia-fuelled engines designed by MAN. “The partnership aims to propel the commercialization of ammonia-fueled vessels and accelerate the energy transition and decarbonization of the shipping industry,” the three companies stated in a release.

Compared to hydrogen and LNG, ammonia is widely used and easier to store with extensive global distribution and storage infrastructure in place, OCI claimed today. Converting all long-distance shipping fuel to ammonia would require approximately 750 to 900m tonnes of ammonia annually by 2050, which is four to five times the current total global ammonia production, according to data from OCI.

Converting all long-distance shipping fuel to ammonia would require approximately 750 to 900m tonnes of ammonia annually by 2050

Captain Alfred Hartmann, chairman of the supervisory board of the Hartmann Group said, “Hartmann Gas Carriers Germany together with their commercial arm, GasChem Services in Hamburg, are convinced of the opportunities that ammonia-fuelled vessels will offer to the environment. At a time when the maritime industry is at the dawn of a new era and looks for options to decarbonise shipping, we are proud and excited to be part of this highly innovative, future-looking project. The new vessel type will enable us to reduce carbon emissions significantly and set new standards for environmentally-friendly shipping.”

Splash reported on Friday how Eastern Pacific Shipping had signed a similar MoU with OCI and MAN, determined to retrofit existing ships with methanol-fuelled engines and to build ammonia-fuelled ships.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Ammonia requires the interaction of hydrogen (mainly derived from natural gas) and nitrogen. The overall energy balance of this process is deceptive. Hydrogen production from electrolysis using renewables is not yet on an industrial scale and is dogged by the problem of intermittent power production.

    1. Have you heard of the Ammonia Conference in Australia next week? The exact large scale projects are being built as you type.

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