Execution of Memorandum of Understanding for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Ammonia-fueled Container Carrier

September 22, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President and COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") has executed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Joint Study of Ammonia Bunkering Safety for an Ammonia-fueled Container Carrier (“MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier”) among 8 companies and organizations*1 with the aim of implementing the use of ammonia as a marine fuel in shipping industry. Through this cooperation, well-known companies and organizations will come together to discuss and study safety issues during ammonia bunkering of a container carrier that uses ammonia as a main fuel.

Ammonia is advancing as a key zero-emission marine fuel solution. Using Ammonia as a Marine Fuel will greatly contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction in the shipping industry. This MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is an important milestone for social implementation of the use of ammonia as marine fuel on a global scale, and also a necessary step toward the realization of the Integrated Project consisting of the construction of a global ammonia supply chain and the development of ammonia-fueled ships by ITOCHU and its partner companies.

A joint study that will be carried out under this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is a successive phase of the existing Joint Study Framework*2 launched in 2021 by 34 companies and organizations including ITOCHU and Joint Study Framework for Ammonia Bunkering Safety*3 launched in 2022 by 16 companies and organizations including ITOCHU, and focused on discussion and study of safety issues of ammonia bunkering to ammonia-fueled container carriers among experts from port authorities, container liner operators, bunkering related players and shipping company. A key subject of the joint study under this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier is the safety assessment for simultaneous operations of container cargo operations and ammonia bunkering in a container terminal, which is generally required for container carriers to achieve operational efficiencies.

ITOCHU is promoting a development of ammonia-fueled container carriers with potential partners following the development of ammonia-fueled bulk carrier, which obtained Approval in Principle*4 in 2022. ITOCHU will accelerate the development of an ammonia-fueled container carrier based on findings of this MOU for Ammonia Bunkering Safety for Container Carrier and plans to bring it to the international shipping market in late 2020s.

ITOCHU will accelerate the development of sustainable energy systems through these initiatives and ensure its contributions to the SDGs and improvement of related efforts, one of the basic policies laid out in its new medium-term management plan, as the company pursues a low-carbon society.

  • *18 companies and organizations are; Algeciras Bay Port Authority, Spain; Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; CMA CGM, France; A.P.Moller Maersk A/S, Denmark; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan; Pavilion Energy Singapore, Singapore; TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, Singapore; and ITOCHU. HAROPA PORT (Port of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris), France; Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Germany; and Nihon Shipyard, Japan, are planned to participate as observers, and two classification societies of American Bureau of Shipping, USA and Bureau Veritas, France support this joint study as facilitators. This indicates the high expectations for and interest in the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.
  • *2ITOCHU Announces the Expansion of the Joint Study Framework on Ammonia as an Alternative Marine Fuel to Include 34 Companies and Organizations
    https://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/news/2021/210729.html (July 29 2021)
  • *3Launching of the Joint Study Framework for Ammonia Bunkering Safety, and Memorandum of Understanding with Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
    https://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/news/2022/220406.html (April 6 2022)
  • *4ITOCHU Announces Ammonia Fueled Bulk Carrier Obtained AiP from Classification Society ClassNK
    https://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/press/2022/221128_2.html (November 28 2022)