Trafigura pioneers ship-to-ship ammonia transfer

Refuelling or bunkering in marine terms is carried out using a small tanker to pump the bunker fuel into the bigger ship.

Trafigura Group Pte Ltd, a leader in the global commodities industry, has achieved its first successful ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of ammonia. The operation occurred last week in international waters near the port of Ceuta in the Strait of Gibraltar. Although STS transfers are common for other commodities, they have not been widely used in the ammonia industry until recently.

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

Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura, indicated that their first safe and efficient ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia supports the company’s growing ammonia trading activity. He emphasized that this operation demonstrates the feasibility of ammonia bunkering as demand increases for hydrogen-based low carbon fuels, which are essential for the decarbonization of the shipping industry.

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