Report: Fortescue looking to order five very large ammonia carriers

Australian green technology, energy and metals company Fortescue is planning to order five very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) to transport green ammonia over long distances, according to the publication TradeWinds.

Green Pioneer vessel. Courtesy of Fortescue

The publication claimed that Fortescue has been in discussions with multiple shipowners and shipyards under a plan with the codename Project Consul, adding that the vessels are valued at more than $120 million each.

Offshore Energy approached Fortescue for a comment on the matter, however, the company declined to provide any information.

In other news, Hong Kong-based ship management company Anglo-Eastern has been appointed by Fortescue to manage its ammonia-powered vessel Fortescue Green Pioneer.

Anglo-Eastern said: “With two of her Cummins KTA 5 engines adapted for ammonia use at Seatrium Benoi Shipyard, she is navigating a path we are proud to be a part of and we look forward to aiding in her success as she sails towards a greener horizon.”

To note, in May 2024, with support from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), government agencies, research institutes and industry partners, Fortescue completed propulsion and manoeuvrability trials of the Green Pioneer vessel in the Port of Singapore.

The trials were conducted using 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia, in combination with diesel and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a second-generation biofuel, as marine fuel over 10 days from April 23, 2024, to May 2, 2024.

They followed the conduct of the dual-fueled ammonia fuel trial in the Port of Singapore in March 2024, in which the vessel received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the Gas Fuelled Ammonia notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel.

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In May, the Green Pioneer also received the Hydrogen Transport award at the World Hydrogen 2024 Awards.

At the time, Fortescue Energy’s CEO, Mark Hutchinson, called upon “regulators, ports, and institutions to join us in accelerating the adoption of ammonia as a marine fuel. Together, let’s create green maritime hubs and corridors, ushering in a new era of sustainable shipping.”