MTF report shows pathway to achieving industry consensus on the safe use of ammonia

Source: press release, 4 May 2022

A new report from the MTF’s ‘Project Ammonia’ examines MTF members’ views on the applicable international safety regulatory framework for ammonia as a marine fuel and its future development
A new report from the MTF’s ‘Project Ammonia’ examines MTF members’ views on the applicable international safety regulatory framework for ammonia as a marine fuel and its future development (illustration: MTF)

The Maritime Technologies Forum (MTF) has released a new report on the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.

The preliminary discussion report reveals various ideas and diverse comments on the use of alternative fuels from different points of view, while not prioritising any opinion in a specific direction but rather underlining the need for further research and collaboration to ensure a sustainable future for shipping.

Specifically, the identification of the key safety concerns tied to ammonia based on members’ both common and diverse understanding from different perspectives may become a significant input to the industry for further relevant investigations and discussions.

The report’s launch marks the MTF’s second publication to investigate how the maritime industry can achieve the IMO’s carbon reduction targets.

Ammonia has been acknowledged by the industry as a potential energy source that does not emit carbon particles upon combustion. However, the technology is not yet mature, infrastructure for production and delivery is lacking, work to address its toxicity is ongoing, and currently there is no concrete regulatory framework that will allow the use of ammonia as fuel for ships at sea. Further long-term research is critical to acquire a sufficient understanding of the potential environmental impacts of such an endeavour.

The report’s main objective was to trigger discussion among MTF members. Several questions converged on the potential regulation of ammonia, the basic properties of the fuel and appropriate safety measures.

The members’ views on these topics have been consolidated in the report with the conclusion that further long-term research is needed to understand the environmental impact of introducing ammonia into the fuel mix.

Commenting on the report, a spokesperson for the MTF says, “The Maritime industry, and the world, is facing one of its greatest challenges: decarbonisation. To get more clarity on the road ahead, the industry must address and discuss the challenges together to ensure safety remains at the heart of any new fuel developments. We hope the observations and findings from this project will contribute to future discussions on alternative fuels and help further promote decarbonisation efforts within our industry.”

Download the report here.