A report commissioned by the West Australia-East Asia Iron Ore Green Corridor Consortium, which includes BHP and Rio Tinto among its members, has identified ammonia as the safest fuel option for its project aimed at deploying zero-emissions ships by 2028 on iron ore trade routes between Western Australia and East Asia. The corridor will only materialize if ammonia’s safety concerns and environmental risks are addressed via collaboration and “coordinated action along the entire Corridor value chain”. The study predicts that 360 clean ammonia ships could be in use by 2050, with Singapore and the Pilbara region of Australia providing suitable locations for bunkering.
Green ammonia could offer a long-term and short-term alternative to fossil fuels for ships, with sufficient production in Australia. The report calls for the ongoing pace of technological and regulatory developments to be sustained for the project to be feasible. Scott Bergeron, the Managing Director of Global Engagement & Sustainability at Oldendorff Carriers, said the study demonstrates how a well-designed Green Corridor can meet the collective desire to decarbonize shipping and shows how collaboration can achieve green goals. Rashpal Bhatti, Vice President Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence at BHP, stated that the consortium, along with its ecosystem partners, seeks to influence the supply chain for low and zero-emission fuels and energy-efficient ships to achieve the net-zero ambitions of its stakeholders.