Fortescue Green Pioneer Completes Ammonia Propulsion Trials in Maritime Sustainability Milestone

Fortescue’s recent trials of the dual-fuelled ammonia-powered vessel, the Fortescue Green Pioneer, have been completed with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and other industry stakeholders. Over a span of 10 days, the vessel underwent propulsion and manoeuvrability testing in the Port of Singapore, utilizing a combination of liquid ammonia, diesel, and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as marine fuel.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to explore sustainable fuel options within the maritime industry and follows the vessel’s previous successful ammonia fuel trial, which led to it receiving approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and a “Gas Fuelled Ammonia” notation from classification society DNV.

The recent trials involved approximately 6.4 cubic meters (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia and were conducted within a designated test area. The MPA’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was pivotal in overseeing the operation, employing ammonia plume modelling and drone surveillance to ensure safety and effective incident response.

Furthermore, the trials included an assessment of nitrogen-based emissions and the vessel’s engine performance using variable HVO-ammonia fuel mixes. These data points contribute to understanding how traditional marine engines can be adapted for use with alternative fuels.

In conjunction with these trials, discussions between MPA and Fortescue are ongoing regarding monitoring onboard technology systems to enhance cybersecurity measures for vessels operating with alternative fuels.

The Fortescue Green Pioneer’s successful trials represent a key development in the maritime industry’s transition towards more sustainable fuel sources. The results contribute to the growing body of research and practical knowledge on the use of ammonia as an alternative fuel, which could potentially lead to a reduction in the industry’s carbon emissions and aid in meeting international environmental targets.

Experts in the field acknowledge the significance of these trials and the potential of ammonia as a marine fuel. The collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors, along with research institutions, are instrumental in advancing the use of green fuels in global shipping operations. The Fortescue Green Pioneer is expected to continue playing a vital role in promoting the adoption of alternative fuels like green ammonia in the maritime industry.