Green Pioneer

MOL pens charter contract with Yara for ammonia carrier

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has signed a time charter contract for the ammonia carrier Green Pioneer with Yara Clean Ammonia Switzerland, a group company of Yara International ASA, the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer.

Image credit: MOL

The 2010-built vessel was delivered on December 25, 2023, and is expected to be engaged in the transportation of ammonia, mainly in the Pacific region.

Ammonia is now mainly used as a raw material for fertilizers, but it is expected to see a significant increase in demand in the future as a next-generation clean energy that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, such as mixed burning in coal-fired power plants and use as a hydrogen carrier.

MOL and the Yara Group have been working together since the signing of a memorandum of understanding on decarbonization projects including ammonia area in 2022, and the conclusion of this regular charter contract is one of the achievements resulting from that agreement.

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Both companies aim to build a long-term partnership in the clean ammonia field and actively expand their business to build an ammonia supply chain.

In 2021, MOL decided to re-enter the ammonia transport business after almost five years of being absent from the trade.

MOL is also supporting the ammonia transport business with the recently announced endorsement of a new strategy from the Mission Possible Partnership aimed at promoting decarbonization in industry.

The sector transition strategy “Making Net-Zero Ammonia Possible” wants to ramp up the production of zero-emission ammonia, potentially for use as a clean marine fuel.

In 2022, MOL and compatriot shipbuilders Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding launched a joint project aimed at developing and building an ocean-going liquefied gas carrier that will use ammonia as its main fuel.

The vessel is envisioned as a mid-size ammonia/LPG carrier equipped with a main engine that can run mainly on ammonia, and targeting net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while underway by using some of its ammonia cargo as fuel.