Global powerhouses partner to develop clean ammonia value chain for shipping fuel


Singapore-based commodity trading firm Trafigura and Norway’s ammonia powerhouse Yara International ASA (Yara) have partnered through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and promote ammonia as a clean shipping fuel. Green ammonia is produced from hydrogen via electrolysis. 

The two companies want to explore opportunities to use both green and blue ammonia fuel as a way of reducing shipping emissions. Indeed, Trafigura recently published a white paper calling for the International Maritime Organisation to install a global carbon levy for shipping fuels.  

“There is a growing consensus” argues Jose Maria Larocca, executive director and co-head of oil trading for Trafigura, “that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential.” 

The collaboration will see Yara supply clean ammonia to Trafigura Group companies, and both companies will jointly embark on R&D initiatives for the use of ammonia as a maritime fuel. 

Of course, to fuel an entire shipping industry also requires extensive infrastructure and companion markets, the value chain for which the two companies are hoping to establish together. “Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem”, said Magnus Ankarstrand, president of Yara Clean Ammonia. 

The collaboration would help, continued Ankarstrand, “to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emissions fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade a distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities.” 

In September 2020, Trafigura and Australian institutional investor IFM Investors announced the intention to have 2 GW of renewable projects at some stage of development by 2025. 

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