Sembmarine unit to design world's first zero-emission fuel tanker

The zero-emission vessel will transport and distribute green ammonia fuel from a production facility in Berlevag, Norway, to Svalbard. PHOTO: SEMBCORP MARINE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - A unit of Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine), LMG Marin, has clinched a contract to design the world's first green ammonia-fuelled tanker for Grieg Edge, the innovation unit of Norway's Grieg Maritime Group.

The zero-emission vessel will transport and distribute green ammonia fuel from a production facility in Berlevag, Norway, to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole from 2024, replacing coal-fired power.

Sembmarine announced on Friday (Dec 3) that the contract came after the group started rebalancing its product solutions portfolio - with an increasing focus on renewables and other green solutions - from 2015.

A Sembmarine spokesman told The Business Times the contract value could not be disclosed due to market sensitivity.

Green ammonia is produced with hydrogen derived from water electrolysis powered by renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, making it an environmentally friendly fuel.

In contrast, every tonne of conventional ammonia, or grey ammonia, produced generates two tonnes of carbon dioxide, given the need to mix hydrogen and atmospheric nitrogen under pressure.

Sembmarine's president and chief executive Wong Weng Sun said LMG Marin can leverage the group's integrated marine and offshore engineering capabilities and technological bench strength to design the tanker.

The group, meanwhile, noted its participation in a study by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, where it is a founding member, to define safety and operational envelopes for an ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore.

Sembmarine's involvement underpins its commitment to work with industry stakeholders to enhance Singapore's status as a major marine fuel bunkering hub, it said.

The effort also supports the International Maritime Organisation's goal to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 50 per cent from 2008 levels by 2050, it added.

Moving forward, Mr Wong said Sembmarine is "determined to leverage its deep engineering expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to create green waves for a more sustainable offshore and marine industry, globally".

"The world's energy transition is under way and the marine industry has been proactive in driving the industry forward towards a greener future. This exciting period of change also opens up new business possibilities and opportunities," he added.

Sembmarine shares were trading flat at 8.3 cents at 2.42 pm on Friday.

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