SGMF and GCMD sign coalition partnership to develop guidelines for ammonia

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) have signed of a 2-year Coalition Partnership agreement during Gastech 2023.

Under this partnership agreement, GCMD and SGMF will collaborate to shape standards through developing guidelines on the use of ammonia as a marine fuel. Ammonia is a promising alternative fuel for the maritime industry, efforts like this one bring its actual adoption closer.

SGMF’s guidelines for LNG bunkering are widely referenced by ports and users of LNG as a marine fuel. These guidelines address specific requirements for LNG use and establish a framework of competence to safely handle LNG, including operational details for relevant ships and transfer equipment.

In April 2023, GCMD and its appointed consultant DNV Maritime Advisory, supported by Surbana Jurong and the Singapore Maritime Academy at the Singapore Polytechnic, completed a 9-month ammonia bunkering safety study.

With inputs from 22 industry partners and feedback from 8 regulatory agencies, this report has deepened collective knowledge for future safe ammonia bunkering, ahead of ammonia bunker tankers and ammonia propelled vessels becoming available.

More than 400 potential risks were identified and assessed based on four technically feasible operational concepts: breakbulk and bunkering at anchorage, as well as shore-to-ship transfer and cross-dock transfer at two land-based sites for potential ammonia bunkering. However, the consortium found the identified risks to be manageable with mitigation measures.

Findings from GCMD’s ammonia bunkering safety study can support SGMF and its stakeholders to develop guidelines as the maritime industry pivots towards using this low-/zero-carbon fuel.

We are confident that we can jointly contribute towards standards development of safe ammonia bunkering internationally. While ammonia vessels are not expected to be on water till 2026, we will need to ready the ecosystem for ammonia bunkering in the meantime

… said Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation

Furthermore, learnings from GCMD’s upcoming ship-to-ship ammonia transfer pilots in port waters can also help enhance ammonia bunkering safety guidelines.

SGMF takes the responsible lead in putting safety first for the use of all low flashpoint fuels under the IGF code, not just LNG and whilst I am pleased we have completed the first lap with LNG – there are many more laps to undertake

… commented Mark Bell SGMF’s COO

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