Singapore wants ammonia to be available as a bunker fuel in its waters. File Image / Pixabay
Classification society DNV is set to lead Singapore's upcoming research into the prospects for ammonia bunkering in the city-state's waters.
A consortium of DNV, consultancy Surbana Jurong and the Singapore Maritime Academy will conduct the research, Singapore's Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The study is due to start next month and last for 10-12 months, will investigate the safety and operational challenges around launching an ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore.
"A precursor to the demonstration of ammonia bunkering in Singapore, the intent of this study is to define a robust set of safety guidelines and operational envelopes that will establish the basis of a regulatory sandbox for trials at two local bunkering sites," the organisation said in the statement.
"Handling ammonia as a bunker fuel will require more stringent safety and operational guidelines compared to transporting ammonia as a commodity given the substantively higher transfer frequency and the need for more flexible transfer configurations.
"This study will build on guidelines that have been developed for safe handling of ammonia as a commodity by defining and then integrating or overlaying the guidelines required for safe handling ammonia as a bunker fuel."
Ammonia is widely assumed to be likely to take up a large share in the future marine energy mix as the shipping industry bears down on its carbon emissions, but more research and development into how it can safely be used will be needed before shipping companies start to order ammonia-fuelled tonnage.