MOL returns to ammonia shipping

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has decided to re-enter the ammonia transport business after almost five years of being absent from the trade.

Green Pioneer; Image credit MOL

MOL’s re-entry into the business is being announced on the back of a time-charter contract with Trammo, a US-based merchandising and ammonia trading company.

Under the contract, the Green Pioneer, a 35,000 cbm-type ammonia /LPG carrier, managed by MOL Tankship Management Pte. will be employed for the job.

Green Pioneer Specifications

  • LOA: 173.70 m
  • Breadth: 28.00 m
  • Draft: 10.419 m
  • Cargo tank capacity: 34,500 m3
  • Delivered in: August 2010
  • (Shipyard: Hyeondae Mipo Joseon

The move comes in anticipation of a demand increase for ammonia both for food production, but also as a next-generation clean fuel for shipping. Namely, ammonia generates zero CO2 emissions when it burns, and as a “hydrogen carrier” that enhances the efficiency of hydrogen transport.

The company has been a front-runner in the research and development of future fuels for the shipping industry, building on its extensive experience in the LNG and hydrogen shipping and bunkering industries.

Earlier this week, MOL joined ITOCHU Corporation, ITOCHU ENEX Co, Vopak Terminals Singapore, Pavilion Energy and Total Marine Fuels in a joint development study on the ammonia fuel supply chain in Singapore.

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Under the project framework, MOL plans to promote the development of off-shore facility such as floating storage unit and/or ammonia bunkering ship, and safety guidelines of ammonia bunkering.