MPA and Yara join ammonia-fuelled tanker project

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and fertiliser giant Yara International have become the latest two partners of the ammonia-fuelled tanker joint development project (JDP), joining existing partners MISC, Lloyd’s Register, Samsung Heavy Industries and MAN Energy Solutions. Significantly, MISC, Malaysia’s top shipping line yesterday put a 2025 timeline for the delivery of its first ammonia-fuelled tanker, a major landmark in the future fuel landscape.

The JDP partners also announced a name for the expanded coalition – The Castor Initiative.

Through the partnership, Yara will work alongside MISC, LR, SHI and MAN to develop ammonia propulsion ships while the consortium will be able to tap into MPA’s experience as a bunkering hub and flag state to gather insights on safety issues and ammonia bunkering procedures, as well as gaining access to research capabilities in Singapore.

“The addition of MPA and Yara means that the alliance which was first unveiled in January 2020, now has a complete representation from all areas of the maritime ecosystem. The experience and expertise of each partner will be central to the success of the initiative, from conception to project realisation,” the alliance said.

Last year, Yara joined forces with Ørsted in developing a project in the Netherlands aiming at replacing fossil hydrogen with renewable hydrogen in the production of ammonia.

“Supporting the enabling role of ammonia in the energy transition, we recognize the need for value chain collaboration to make zero emission shipping by using ammonia as a fuel a reality,” said Magnus Ankarstrand, EVP clean ammonia, Yara.

“Decarbonisation remains a key priority for the maritime sector, not just in Singapore but globally. As a transhipment and bunkering hub, we are committed to meet IMO2030/2050 decarbonisation goals. We are also looking forward to collaborating with like-minded industry partners to support the development and trials of alternative future marine fuels such as ammonia,” said MPA chief executive, Quah Ley Hoon.

Last September, LR  granted approval in principle (AIP) to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for its ammonia-fuelled tanker design, a landmark project being carried out with Malaysia’s top shipping line, MISC and engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions.

In terms of fuelling options for ammonia-powered ships, there was big news from Denmark yesterday where local shipowners Maersk and DFDS signed on as backers of what will become Europe’s largest green ammonia production plant.

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. The issue is not using ammonia for powering ships (that is easy) the real issue is how to generate the huge amount of energy required to produce the (green) ammonia needed by shipping. Singapore sells about 50 million tons of HFO equivalent per year, that means about 118 million tons of (green) ammonia equivalent. Let’s suppose that only 1/3 will be actually (green) ammonia (or green methanol), i.e. about 35 million tons per year. About 10MWh are needed to produce just one 1 ton. Therefore about 350 (green) TWh are needed. For an actual (green) power capacity of about 40 GW. Considering the capacity factors it means 138 installed GW of Solar PV, 91 GW of offshore wind, 44 GW of Molten Salt Reactors, against an actual (black) power generation capacity of Singapore of about 14 GW (gas turbines). And please understand that if one would opt for wind or solar he would also have to deploy massive energy storage, else the (green) ammonia production plant would sit idle waiting for the wind to blow or the sun to shine.
    If we do not talk power generation, talking ammonia propulsion is simply irrelevant.

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