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Yara to bunker blue ammonia

New terminals to be established across Europe

Yara International, producer of ammonia-based fertilizers, has entered into an agreement to construct what appear to be floating ammonia bunkering terminals to be moored in European ports

Yara International, a manufacturer of fertilisers, has set up a new unit for bunkering ammonia, and will work in collaboration with Azane Fuel solutions to set up new ammonia port- and barge-based bunkering facilities across northern Europe.

Images from Yara indicate the new terminal would take the form of barges which float alongside the quay. 17 Yara plants together produce 8.5m tonnes of ammonia annually. Christian Berg, Yara Clean Ammonia Director for Bunkering Market Development, said that a mature capability for trading ammonia as a commodity would speed up its adoption in shipping. “There are today 130 ports globally that have ammonia infrastructure, so grey ammonia is already being traded as a cargo… using it as fuel is only a question of certification. We are well on the way to making it available as a fuel,” he said.

Yara will be using steam-methane-reforming (SMR) infrastructure in combination with carbon capture, which will allow them to continue using fossil fuels to produce the e-fuel while incurring only a small amount of lifecycle CO2 emissions.

Though much of the recent attention has been on green ammonia, which is generated using hydrogen produced by renewable energy, this ‘blue’ ammonia, produced using carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) would effectively eliminate CO2 emissions from the ship funnel, unlike its rival e-fuel methanol. However, CCUS critics argue that the technology is not proven, given that there is not yet existing capacity for it.

“For those of us who build ships that will run on green ammonia, this agreement means that we can be sure that the fuel is available for delivery when the first vessels are ready,”

André Risholm, CEO at Amon Maritime, board member of Viridis Bulk Carriers and chairman of Azane Fuel Solutions

Critics of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) say that the technology is unproven, the costs are prohibitive, and that rather than offset or mitigate further extraction of fossil fuels, serves as a licence to continue to do so. Read Engineering at Sea’s detailed discussion of carbon capture here.