Fortescue Conducts Sea Trials for First Ammonia-Powered Vessel

Sea trials continue for the first vessel operating on ammonia, the Fortescue Green Pioneer, a converted offshore supply vessel. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is closely supervising the trials to develop safety protocols for ammonia-fueled vessels. Other projects, like NYK's LNG-fueled tug conversion, are also expected to proceed in the future.
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Sea trials are ongoing for the first vessel operating on ammonia, an offshore supply vessel converted by Australia’s Fortescue. The vessel completed its first marine bunkering of ammonia earlier this year and is now undergoing further sea trials. These trials are being conducted in close cooperation with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, which has developed stringent safety protocols for ammonia-fueled vessels. The MPA is using these trials to establish safe handling and operation guidelines for such vessels due to the lack of maritime regulations in place for ammonia as a fuel.

Fortescue converted the MMA Leveque into the world’s first operational ammonia-fueled vessel in 2023. The vessel, now known as the Fortescue Green Pioneer, received the first notations for ammonia operations from DNV and Singapore after loading liquid ammonia and conducting tests. The ongoing trials involve loading more liquid ammonia, along with diesel and biofuel, to test propulsion, maneuverability, and emissions management. The trials are taking place in the Raffles Reserved Anchorage off Singapore, with the aim of certifying the vessel for future ammonia-fueled operations.

Fortescue is collaborating with various research institutes, industry partners, and government agencies to drive awareness of ammonia as a marine fuel. Other pioneering projects, such as NYK’s conversion of an LNG-fueled tug to run on ammonia, are also in progress. With only a few ship owners currently ordering ammonia-fueled vessels, these demonstrations and the commercial availability of engines and fuel systems will be crucial for the widespread adoption of ammonia as a marine fuel in the future.

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