Support is growing for ammonia as a future marine fuel. File Image / Pixabay
French energy producer TotalEnergies -- recently renamed from Total -- has released a statement highlighting its work on the development of ammonia as a bunker fuel.
In a statement released on Friday, the company noted its involvement in a project announced last month on ammonia retrofits, its involvement in a study announced last month on the potential for an ammonia bunker supply chain in Singapore, its membership of the Ammonia Energy Association since 2019 and its setting up of a hydrogen business unit last year.
Within the alternative bunker fuels space TotalEnergies is primarily known at present as the largest supplier of LNG as a marine fuel, and this statement may partly be an attempt to diversify its image and remind the market of its work on zero-carbon fuels as well. Supporters of LNG bunkering are facing increasingly aggressive opposition from environmental groups and shipping companies who have rejected it as an idea.
Part of the stepping-up of the rhetoric in this argument is likely to come from key meetings at the International Maritime Organization and the European Commission over the next two years, in which opponents of LNG bunkering will want to ensure it receives no favourable treatment in any of the carbon tax proposals currently under discussion.
"Ammonia is seen as a promising future fuel for shipping from an emissions reduction and scalability perspective," Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, vice president for marine fuels at TotalEnergies, said in the statement.
"However, safety, technology maturity and affordability remain key challenges which we need to overcome.
"In tandem with TotalEnergies' R&D efforts, we are delighted to be part of these pioneering, industry-wide collaborations, to unlock ammonia as a cleaner marine fuel for ships."