Maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register has been selected to undertake feasibility studies in the Pilbara region of Western Australia into the potential use of clean ammonia at ports in the area to refuel ships.
The announcement of the feasibility study comes after Yara Clean Ammonia and Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) signed a collaboration agreement in August 2022.
Through the feasibility study, Lloyd’s Register will provide an analysis that focuses on factors required to assess the potential uptake of ammonia refueling. The study will also include information on the current market for clean fuels in shipping, required shoreside infrastructure, safety considerations and also the required regulations to support ammonia bunkering at the proposed locations. The study is scheduled to take at least one year to complete.
Tessa Major, vice president of bunkering, port relationships and regulation at Yara Clean Ammonia, said that the company’s existing and developing operations in the Pilbara region are the perfect starting point to unlock new opportunities, strengthened by a shared commitment with PPA to enable maritime decarbonization.
“Yara Clean Ammonia’s ambitions in Australia will move the dial in the energy transition and an exciting part of that is creating emission-free fuel to power ships,” said Major.
Furthermore, in September 2022, the Yuri Renewable Hydrogen to Ammonia Project announced its final investment decision, which will result in a renewable hydrogen plant being built next to Yara Pilbara’s existing ammonia plant, close to PPA’s Port of Dampier. The Yuri plant is stated to be one of the first in the world to demonstrate the use of renewable hydrogen as a feedstock to produce ammonia at an existing ammonia plant. The project is also the first of its kind within Australia.
“PPA is well placed to support clean energy transitions in the maritime industry in the Pilbara region,” commented Roger Johnston, CEO of the PPA. “Our operations are in close proximity to ammonia fuel production facilities and there are numerous bulk ships dedicated to particular routes, which frequently visit our ports.”
“Studies like this one will help give more certainty on the feasibility of the options being considered and will enable the industry to work to address the safety challenges around their safe adoption,” said Andy McKeran, chief commercial officer of Lloyd’s Register.
Yara Clean Ammonia and PPA seek to establish an advisory committee that will include representatives of shipping customers and providers to give them input into the process.