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Ship giants team up for clean ammonia bunkering study

LEADING ship management company Fleet Management Ltd. joined forces with the American Bureau of Shipping ( ABS), Calamco, Sumitomo Corp. and TOTE Services to explore clean ammonia ship-to-ship bunkering on the US West Coast.

This collaboration aims to be a forerunner in establishing a reliable and cost-effective supply chain for ammonia bunkering, a promising alternative fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. The feasibility study will focus on key ports like Oakland, Benicia and others along the West Coast.

Ammonia, which does not emit any CO2 when combusted, has long been considered one of the most promising alternative marine fuels to reduce greenhouse gas direct emissions within the shipping industry, which aligns with the revised International Maritime Organization strategy to reach net-zero emissions from international shipping «close to» 2050 on a life-cycle basis.

The study will leverage Calamco's ammonia storage at Stockton, California, for a pilot bunkering project targeting car carriers in Benicia and container ships in Oakland, aiming to pioneer ammonia as a clean US West Coast marine fuel.

Safety assessments are critical to formulate standards for the use of ammonia as a marine fuel due to the toxicity of the substance. Relevant government agencies and experts in the US will be engaged in working toward the standardization of safe operation and regulations.

Panos Koutsourakis, vice president of global sustainability at the American Bureau of Shipping, said: «We are proud to share our industry-leading expertise in ammonia as a marine fuel to support this study on the US West Coast. Our expertise in developing safety guidelines will support the consortium to address the ammonia-specific set of safety and technology challenges.»

Dan Stone, president at Calamco, said: «We are excited to support the exploration of ammonia bunkering in the US West Coast. As one of the few ammonia storage and handling facilities in the geographical area, Calamco is well-positioned to serve the growing needs of the maritime industry. Calamco has many years of safe and efficient operational experience at the Port of Stockton.»