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TotalEnergies boosts R&D on ammonia as a marine fuel

TotalEnergies boosts R&D on ammonia as a marine fuel

TotalEnergies, formerly known as Total, is further developing research into the viability of ammonia as an alternative marine fuel through its participation in a series of leading industry initiatives.

In its latest joint effort, TotalEnergies entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 22 leading companies across diverse industries to initiate a joint study on ammonia as an alternative marine fuel. These industries include energy, mining, power utility, chemical, terminal, shipping, shipbuilding, manufacturing, bunkering and classification society. 

This joint study framework will address common cross-industry challenges that need to be overcome for ammonia to contribute to the decarbonization of the shipping industry, including the safety assessment of an ammonia-fueled ship and ammonia bunkering, ammonia fuel specification and the net carbon emissions from ammonia production.

The other 22 signatories of this joint study are Itochu Enex, Itochu, Abs, Anglo American, Classnk, DNV, Equinor, Fortescue Metals Group, Genco Shipping & Trading, Jera, K-line, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsui E&S Machinery, Nihon Shipyard, NS United, Pavilion Energy, Trafigura, Ube Industries, Uniper SE, Uyeno Transtech, Vale and Vopak Terminal Singapore.

As a carbon-free molecule, ammonia is a promising alternative fuel for large vessels and deep-sea shipping to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the shipping industry. In particular, green ammonia – produced from green hydrogen using renewable electricity, water and air – could play a major role in enabling the industry to meet the carbon emission reduction targets being proposed by 2050 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

TotalEnergies has also recently embarked on a joint project with other maritime industry leaders, through the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, to assess the technical, financial and environmental potential of converting existing vessels to future fuel solutions and technology, such as ammonia.

Since 2019, TotalEnergies has been a member of the Ammonia Energy Association, a global industry association that promotes the responsible use of ammonia in a sustainable energy economy. This has enabled the French energy company to deepen its investigation of ammonia within its portfolio of clean energy technologies.

In July 2020, TotalEnergies also established a Clean Hydrogen business unit, giving shape to its ambition to become a leader in the mass production of clean hydrogen, the first building block of green ammonia.

These efforts underscore TotalEnergies’ aspiration to be a world-class player in the energy transition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, together with society. As part of TotalEnergies’ strategy, it will develop broad energy solutions for mobility to take carbon out of transport. 

“Ammonia is seen as a promising future fuel for shipping from an emissions reduction and scalability perspective. 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,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, vice president, Marine Fuels, TotalEnergies.