HAZID workshop examines ammonia as fuel


HAZID workshop members in Copenhagen led by BV Marine & Offshore's Panos Koutsourakis and Diane Ruf.HAZID workshop members in Copenhagen led by BV Marine & Offshore’s Panos Koutsourakis and Diane Ruf.



A consortium of ship owners and operators and original equipment manufacturers are collaborating in a project into the use of ammonia (NH3) as a marine fuel. As a first step, Bureau Veritas led a hazard identification workshop (HAZID) to understand the risks involved with using ammonia as a marine fuel in Copenhagen in February.

Panos Koutsourakis, Global Technology Leader for Sustainable Shipping at Bureau Veritas noted that ammonia offered opportunities as a potential hydrogen carrier but its toxicity and corrosive nature represented technical challenges.

“We need to understand, if and how, the associated risks can be managed to merit further practical and commercial development – especially confirming the potential for stable combustion and NOx emissions.” He added that availability of “green ammonia” represented another constraint.

“Sufficient availability of “green” ammonia would require the scalable development of “Power-to-X” technologies to provide the volumes necessary for shipping,”

The group will perform detailed risk studies to assess the technical feasibility and specific safety risks of ammonia fuelled ships with a view to considering its potential as a safe fuel for the decarbonisation of shipping.

The use of ammonia as a fuel is not fully covered by the existing regulatory framework, such as the IMO’s IGF Code (International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels).

BV’s Diane Ruf, Head of Section, Risk, Reliability & Maintenance, at Bureau Veritas Solutions, Marine & Offshore, said, ‘The workshop was carried out to identify the safety and operational hazards associated with the use of ammonia as fuel for propulsion engine on board a VLCC. The study led to the identification of practical safeguards and recommendations which should be considered in order to lower the risks to As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). It covered: NH3 storage space and bunker stations, NH3 Fuel Treatment Room and HP Fuel Pump Room (combined), Engine Room (Gas-safe), Vent/Safety system lines and Vent Mast and ship’s operations.’

The group will perform detailed risk studies to assess the technical feasibility and specific safety risks of ammonia fuelled ships with a view to considering its potential as a safe fuel for the decarbonisation of shipping. The HAZID workshop represented a first step.

Next steps are being considered, but will include addressing operational hazards and looking more deeply at conceptual designs based on different vessel types.

The working group includes MAN Energy Solutions, Samsung Heavy Industries, GTT and Alfa Laval, as well as ENGIE and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company. Ship owners and operators include DFDS, Stena Teknik, Gaslog LNG Services Ltd; MOL; NYK; Star Bulk; Capital Ship Management Corp; Stolt Tankers; Exmar and CMB.

Each participating organization is providing its relevant expertise to the project in order to study all potential risks.



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