EPS, MPA: Six new ammonia dual-fuel newbuilds to fly the flag of Singapore

Singapore-based shipping company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and classification societies ABS and Lloyd’s Register (LR), committing six of its ammonia dual-fuel newbuilds to be registered under the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) upon delivery.

Courtesy of MPA/EPS

The commitment of these newbuilds comes six months after EPS announced a collaboration with German engine specialist MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES), South Korean shipbuilder HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and yards from the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), supported by classification societies ABS and Lloyd’s Register, on the development of ammonia burning engine that will be fitted to the new fleet of EPS-managed vessels.

The MoUs are said to reaffirm EPS’ support of MPA’s drive to decarbonize and digitalize the shipping industry through green initiatives.

The collaboration envisaged under the MoUs will include joint capability and capacity-building on ammonia bunkering, seafarer training on management and safety aspects, expertise and knowledge sharing to explore ammonia-related solutions and standards for power generation and bunkering, and consideration of zero and near-zero fuel pilot trials.

As explained, the partnership between EPS and MPA demonstrates a collective ‘act-now’ approach to decarbonization and environmental preservation. It also underscores a shared commitment to drive decarbonization in the shipping industry through innovation, cooperation and sustainable practices, fostering industry growth and upholding the highest standards of training, safety, and environmental stewardship.

EPS will also be working closely with MPA to explore and support crew training on zero and near-zero emission fuels and related technologies at the new Maritime Energy Training Facility to be established progressively by 2026.

“We are delighted to formalize our partnership with MPA through the signing of these MoUs,” Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, commented.

“As optimism grows on the transportation of ammonia following the continued expansion of ammonia production capabilities worldwide, we must recognise fundamentally that crew safety is of paramount importance. This collaboration cements our commitment to work with key industry stakeholders to address challenges and strive to lead the safe transportation of zero- and near-zero emission fuels like ammonia and its adoption as a marine fuel. We look forward to furthering our partnership with MPA and the broader maritime community, to build on necessary training and capacity-building in order to strengthen the safety and environmental aspects, so that our collective efforts accelerate decarbonisation of the global shipping industry safely.”

“We welcome EPS’ newbuilds to the family of Singapore-registered vessels. The delivery of EPS’ ammonia dual-fuel newbuilds from 2026 gives strong confidence on the use of ammonia as a marine fuel. It will help accelerate efforts to develop the value chain and infrastructure required and the training of the workforce to be ready to safely handle ammonia as a fuel. We look forward to working with EPS, and other like-minded partners, on the concrete steps to advance the decarbonisation of international shipping,” Teo Eng Dih, MPA Chief Executive, said.

“ABS commends the MPA and EPS for their pioneering commitment to register six VLAC ammonia dual-fuel newbuilds. This bold initiative represents a crucial step towards the maritime industry’s decarbonization goals, showcasing our collective commitment to innovation and sustainability stewardship. ABS is proud to support this effort with its gas carriers and ammonia expertise, paving the way for significant decarbonization in global maritime industry,” John McDonald, ABS President and COO, noted.

“When it comes to answering the maritime industry’s decarbonisation challenges, EPS has turned strategy into action. Not only has EPS improved the efficiency of its legacy fleet, selecting and testing many emission-reduction solutions, but EPS is also investing in alternative fuels for its new tonnage. This MoU marks a concrete stride in advancing ammonia propulsion and will pave the way for addressing the safety and operational challenges that this novel technology presents. Given LR’s long relationship with EPS and MPA, we are confident that this partnership will deliver significant shared learnings to benefit the wider maritime value chain,” Nick Brown, CEO of Lloyd’s Register, said.

Over the past few months, EPS ordered several 93,000 cbm ammonia carriers and 210,000 dwt ammonia-powered bulkers.

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Having conducted extensive research, the company concluded that ammonia offers a viable solution to decarbonize not just the EPS’ fleet but also large onshore industries such as power generation and steel production. However, EPS also acknowledged that ammonia is still not perfect nor truly a zero-emission solution today as important questions remain on availability, engine readiness, safety concerns, NOx and N2O emission, the need for pilot fuel and more.