Trafigura performs first ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia

Multinational commodity trading company Trafigura Group has completed its first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of ammonia in international waters close to the port of Ceuta in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Courtesy of Trafigura

Approximately 6,000 metric tonnes of ammonia (NH3), supplied by CF Industries, was transferred between the Green Power medium gas carrier (MGC), and Gas Aegean, a small gas carrier, last week.

The shipment will be received by Fertiberia for the production of fertilizer.

Green Power is owned by UK ship owner/operator Purus on time charter to Trafigura. It is one of three Purus’ 40,000 cbm MGCs handling ammonia.

“We are proud to partner with Trafigura on this historic STS with Green Power, one of our seven modern MGCs for ammonia transport. This STS transfer demonstrates our capability to offer customers end-to-end floating pipeline solutions for energy transition cargoes that can offer greater flexibility and speed-to-market than conventional onshore storage tanks, accelerating the clean energy transition,” a spokesperson from Purus said.

The STS operation was conducted by International Fender Provider (IFP) in line with current regulations. STS transfers are commonly used for other commodities to load cargo onto more suitable vessels for delivery to the destination, however until recently have not been widely adopted by the ammonia industry.

“Our first safe and efficient ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia supports our growing ammonia trading activity. Importantly, it demonstrates the feasibility of ammonia bunkering in the future as demand grows for the hydrogen-based low carbon fuels that will enable the shipping industry to decarbonise,” Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura, commented.

In May 2024, Trafigura signed a contract for four vessels that will be capable of using low-carbon ammonia as a propulsion fuel when delivered. The vessels will be built at HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, with the first ship to be delivered in 2027.

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