Fortescue trials ammonia-powered vessel in the Port of Singapore

Fortescue trials ammonia-powered vessel in the Port of Singapore

Fortescue, with assistance from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has completed propulsion and manoeuvrability trials of its Singapore-registered Fortescue Green Pioneer at the Port of Singapore.

Over 10 days from 23 April to 2 May, the trials used 6.4 cubic metres (m3) (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia, diesel, and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a second-generation biofuel, as maritime fuel.

In March 2024, the Fortescue Green Pioneer successfully conducted the world’s first dual-fuelled ammonia fuel trial in the Port of Singapore.

The Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) granted the vessel flag certification, and classification society DNV issued the ‘Gas Fuelled Ammonia’ notation, allowing it to utilise ammonia in conjunction with diesel as a marine fuel.

The clearance and note were granted following the conclusion of a seven-week set of fuel testing in February and March 2024 with five cubic metres (three tonnes) of liquid ammonia.

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The Fortescue Green Pioneer at anchor tested its ammonia storage systems, pipes, gas fuel distribution system, upgraded engines and seaworthiness.

Members of the maritime community visited the vessel during the Singapore Maritime Week in April 2024 to learn about the trials, emergency procedures and training of seafarers for the safe handling of ammonia fuel.

To support this round of experiments comprising propulsion and manoeuvrability tests as part of the vessel’s continuing sea trials, a second tranche of about 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia was loaded on 23 April at Vopak Banyan Terminal, Jurong Island.

The MPA secured a designated test area along Raffles Reserved Anchorage for the trials, and an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was established at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre to monitor fuel loading and sea trial operations by representatives from MPA, Fortescue, Vopak, research institutes, and government agencies.

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The EOC utilised ammonia plume models and drone monitoring to enhance safety, incident preparation, and response.

This set of trials can be expanded to enable the sea trials of prospective ammonia-fueled vessels registered with the Singapore Registry of Ships before delivery if necessary.

The propulsion and manoeuvrability trials also included tests to evaluate the control of nitrogen-based pollutants and a study of the vessel’s engine’s capacity to run on varied volumes of HVO in conjunction with ammonia.

MPA is collaborating with Fortescue to monitor info-comm and operational technology systems onboard the Fortescue Green Pioneer to enhance the resilience of vessels using alternative fuels against cyber threats. This is part of MPA’s efforts to strengthen maritime cybersecurity as vessels become more connected and digital.

The Fortescue Green Pioneer aims to raise awareness of the importance of green ammonia solutions in the worldwide shipping sector.

In April, MPA, Port of Los Angeles, and Port of Long Beach completed a comprehensive baselining study.

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