Yara, Pilbara Ports Authority to assess ammonia as shipping fuel in WA

Yara Clean Ammonia (YCA), a global unit of Norwegian fertilizer company Yara International ASA, and Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly facilitate the uptake of clean ammonia as a marine fuel in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.

Courtesy of Yara

The collaboration represents the commitment of both parties to ammonia as a zero-carbon fuel for decarbonising the shipping industry.

Under the agreement, YCA and PPA will jointly assess the potential ammonia demand and required bunker infrastructure, leveraging off the existing ammonia production facility of Yara Pilbara, and its clean ammonia potential in the region.

The joint assessment is planned to take approximately one year.

The agreement will also ensure safe ammonia bunker operations within PPA ports through collaborative safety analysis and the creation of transparent ammonia bunkering guidelines.

The parties believe that forming a clear understanding of the required bunker infrastructure and safe ammonia bunker guidelines will accelerate the effective uptake of clean ammonia as a fuel, and will be a major step toward making shipping fossil-fuel free.

“The potential of ammonia as fuel to effectively decarbonise the maritime industry is very clear; however some questions remain on how to maximise safe and efficient fuel delivery in a port environment. This collaboration with PPA intends to address these questions and consequently will help fast-track ammonia as a zero-carbon fuel in the region”, says Murali Srinivasan, SVP and commercial head of Yara Clean Ammonia.

PPA’s CEO Roger Johnston added: “PPA strives to be a frontrunner in establishing frameworks to ensure safe ammonia bunker operations. This collaboration with Yara Clean Ammonia creates great opportunities to work together to reduce carbon emissions.”

Yara Clean Ammonia was established in early 2021 “to capture growth opportunities within carbon-free food solutions, shipping fuel and other clean ammonia applications”, as explained at the time by Svein Tore Holsether, president and CEO of Yara.

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In May this year, Yara revealed that its plans for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of its clean ammonia business on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

When it comes to YCA’s recent business developments in Australia, it is worth noting that the company entered into new gas supply agreements with the country’s gas supplier Santos.

Santos will supply over 120 petajoules of natural gas to Yara’s liquid ammonia plant on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia over five years, starting in 2023.

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