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The role of alternative fuels in powering the low-carbon economy will dramatically increase volumes of renewable ammonia, outstripping growing volumes of renewable methanol, according to the UK-based research and consultancy firm Maritime Strategies International (MSI).

In a new Foresight article, MSI predicts that the next 25 years are likely to see ammonia trade transformed with clean ammonia providing new demand for close to 400 very large gas carriers, compared to a current fleet of 375 focused on carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

In contrast, though a requirement for around 215 methanol carriers will be significant, it compares to an aggregate methanol-capable 35,000dwt and above fleet of 280 at the end of 2023.

Despite facing high costs and safety issues, clean ammonia’s role as a prospective marine bunker fuel, a hydrogen carrier for use in power generation, and industry feedstock has solidified its place in the green transition, especially for high-volume uses.