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Trafigura Group Pte Ltd (Trafigura), a market leader in the global commodities industry, has successfully completed its first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of ammonia. This took place last week in international waters close to the port of Ceuta in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Approximately 6,000 metric tonnes of ammonia (NH3), supplied by CF Industries from their Donaldsonville, Louisiana-based manufacturing complex, was safely transferred between the Green Power Medium Gas Carrier (MGC), owned by ship owner/operator Purus on time charter to Trafigura, and Small Gas Carrier the Gas Aegean. The shipment will be received by Fertiberia for the production of fertilizer.

The STS operation was conducted by International Fender Provider (IFP) in line with current regulations. STS transfers are commonly used for other commodities to load cargo onto more suitable vessels for delivery to the destination, however until recently have not been widely adopted by the ammonia industry.

“Our first safe and efficient ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia supports our growing ammonia trading activity. Importantly, it demonstrates the feasibility of ammonia bunkering in the future as demand grows for the hydrogen-based low carbon fuels that will enable the shipping industry to decarbonise,” said Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura.

In May 2024, Trafigura signed a contract for four MGCs that will be capable of using low-carbon ammonia as a propulsion fuel when delivered. The vessels will be built at HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, with the first ship to be delivered in 2027.

"We are proud to partner with Trafigura on this historic STS with Green Power, one of our seven modern MGCs for ammonia transport. This STS transfer demonstrates our capability to offer customers end-to-end floating pipeline solutions for energy transition cargoes that can offer greater flexibility and speed-to-market than conventional onshore storage tanks, accelerating the clean energy transition," said a spokesperson from Purus.

Decarbonising shipping
Trafigura is one of the world’s largest charterers of vessels, responsible for more than 5,000 voyages a year with around 400 ships currently under management. The company has committed to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of its shipping fleet by 25 percent by the end of FY2030, against the 2019 IMO benchmark. Since 2020, Trafigura has led the industry in calling for a global carbon levy on marine fuels to incentivise and accelerate the uptake of low-carbon marine fuels.

Trafigura’s shipping team is one of the few operators to have tested a full range of alternative shipping fuels including LNG, methanol, LPG and biofuels on its owned and chartered vessels. It has co-sponsored the development of a two-stroke engine by MAN Energy Solutions that can run on low carbon ammonia and is also investing in on-board emissions capture technology.

Investments are also being made in wider efficiency measures such as silicone hull coating, wake equalising ducts, ultrasonic propeller antifouling technology, and continuous underwater hull cleaning and propeller polishing.

Trafigura is a founding member of the Sea Cargo Charter, an industry coalition established to collect, assess and report shipping emissions, a key member of the Global Maritime Forum’s Getting to Zero coalition and a founding member of the First Movers Coalition.

Source: vesselfinder.com