Japan-based ITOCHU ENEX, the ITOCHU Corporation and Vopak Terminals Singapore are to study the feasibility of developing a supply chain in Singapore for ammonia for use as a marine fuel.
Under a non-binding memorandum of understanding, the companies have specific roles. ITOCHU ENEX will look at the use of distribution ships for fuel supply. ITOCHU will promote the development of an offshore facility, such as a floating tank or fuel supply ship, alongside ITOCHU ENEX. It will use its networks to form partnerships in Japan and elsewhere with relevant companies, such as those in shipping and ammonia production.
ITOCHU and ITOCHU ENEX will also seek to develop an ammonia-fuelled zero-emission ship with other partners, which they say is a key element.
As well as supporting the feasibility study, Vopak will promote the development of an onshore facility to store and handle ammonia with loading and unloading facilities. It has expertise in this area through its Banyan Terminal in Singapore.
In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set out a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions within the shipping industry by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 2008 levels, by 50% by 2050, and achieve zero emissions by the end of the century. Ammonia has attracted attention as a possible zero emission fuel for ships. It can be used to generate energy through fuel cells, and because it is already widely stored and traded throughout the world’s ports, would present fewer barriers to widespread adoption as a clean fuel than some other options.
‘ITOCHU Group intends to promote initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases with the cooperation of domestic and overseas companies, as well as the relevant government agencies,’ the company says.