Trafigura orders 4 dual-fuel ammonia-powered ships in South Korea

Multinational commodity trading company Trafigura has signed a contract for four medium gas carriers (MGC) that will be capable of using low-carbon ammonia as a propulsion fuel when delivered.

An ammonia-fueled mid-size gas carrier developed by HD Hyundai Mipo. Courtesy of HD Hyundai Mipo

As informed, the vessels will be built at HD Hyundai Mipo shipyard, an affiliate of HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), in Ulsan, South Korea.

The vessels will carry liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or ammonia, with the first unit slated for delivery in 2027.

Each vessel, when delivered, will be equipped with a dual-fuel low-carbon ammonia engine, supporting Trafigura’s commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of its own shipping fleet by 25 percent by 2030.

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As a member of the Global Maritime Forum’s Getting to Zero coalition and a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, Trafigura is also committed to helping to develop the low-carbon fuels and vessels required to decarbonize global shipping. The new order marks an important next step in these efforts, according to the company.

“We are excited to embark together with HD Hyundai Mipo on this ambitious project which supports our commitments to decarbonizing shipping and will help us to develop the global low-carbon ammonia bunkering infrastructure needed for zero-carbon shipping to become a reality,” Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura, commented.

Trafigura has tested a full range of alternative shipping fuels including LNG, methanol, LPG and biofuels on its owned and chartered vessels. It has co-sponsored the development of a two-stroke engine by MAN Energy Solutions that can run on green ammonia and is also investing in onboard carbon emission capture technology.

Investments are also being made in wider efficiency measures such as silicone hull coating, wake equalizing ducts, ultrasonic propeller antifouling technology, and continuous underwater hull cleaning and propeller polishing.

In March this year, HD Hyundai Mipo revealed it developed an ammonia-powered ship using a number of domestic technologies.

The recently developed standard ammonia dual-fuel propulsion ship can transport 45,000 cubic meters of LPG, ammonia, or vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).

The ammonia dual-fuel propulsion ship is 190 meters long, 30.4 meters wide, and 18.8 meters high. It is equipped with a 10,000-horsepower dual-fuel 2-stroke large engine that selectively uses ammonia and diesel fuel.

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