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Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel Join Forces to Develop Ammonia Marine Fuel Guidelines
By Sea and Coast | 09/09/2023

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) have entered into a 2-year Coalition Partnership agreement, announced during Gastech 2023. This strategic collaboration aims to shape industry standards by developing comprehensive guidelines for the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.


Notably, SGMF has a strong track record in establishing guidelines for LNG bunkering, which are widely adopted by ports and LNG marine fuel users. These guidelines encompass essential requirements for the safe handling of LNG, covering operational specifics for relevant vessels and transfer equipment.


GCMD recently completed a 9-month ammonia bunkering safety study in April 2023, supported by DNV Maritime Advisory, Surbana Jurong, and the Singapore Maritime Academy at the Singapore Polytechnic. Drawing insights from 22 industry partners and feedback from 8 regulatory agencies, this report has deepened collective knowledge in preparation for the safe adoption of ammonia bunkering.


The findings from GCMD's ammonia bunkering safety study are expected to contribute to the development of guidelines by SGMF as the maritime industry increasingly explores ammonia as a low-/zero-carbon fuel. Furthermore, GCMD's upcoming ship-to-ship ammonia transfer pilot projects in port waters are poised to enhance ammonia bunkering safety guidelines.


Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, expressed confidence that this partnership, with SGMF joining as a Coalition Partner, will play a pivotal role in developing globally recognized standards for safe ammonia bunkering. This initiative comes in anticipation of ammonia-powered vessels, expected to appear on the water around 2026, necessitating the establishment of guidelines to facilitate bunkering operations.


Mark Bell, COO of SGMF, lauded the innovation in the maritime industry and emphasized the importance of putting safety first for the use of low flashpoint fuels under the IGF code. While LNG guidelines are well-established, there is much work ahead to ensure the safety of other candidate fuels, making GCMD's work on ammonia pivotal in this respect.


This collaborative effort underscores the maritime industry's commitment to decarbonization and its preparedness to embrace alternative, sustainable fuels. As the sector navigates the complexities of reducing its carbon footprint, guidelines for ammonia usage are a significant step forward.