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Mitsui & Co. and NYK Sign Deal for Ammonia Shipping
Mitsui & Co. and NYK Sign Deal for Ammonia Shipping

Mitsui & Co. and NYK Sign Deal for Ammonia Shipping

  • 08-Dec-2023 7:24 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), a prominent Japanese shipping company, and Mitsui & Co., a renowned trading conglomerate, have formalized a charter agreement focused on the transportation of ammonia, a move that underscores their commitment to pioneering sustainable shipping practices.

The designated vessel for this groundbreaking initiative is the Berlian Ekuator, a gas carrier boasting a capacity of 35,850 cubic meters and constructed in 2004. NYK assumes both ownership and operational responsibilities for this vessel. The central objective of the charter is to facilitate the transport of fuel ammonia to JERA’s Hekinan Thermal Power Station, where JERA, Japan's largest utility, is actively engaged in conducting fuel-conversion demonstration tests.

A key milestone within this collaborative endeavor is the comprehensive testing aimed at achieving a 20% substitution of traditional fuel with ammonia during the fiscal year 2023. If successful, this ambitious project will represent a historic leap, marking the world's first extensive utilization of fuel ammonia within a sizable commercial coal-fired power plant.

The foundation for this significant charter was laid through a preceding agreement between Mitsui and JERA in June. This earlier pact solidified the framework for the ammonia supply chain, paving the way for the subsequent charter contract between NYK and Mitsui.

NYK underscores the dual significance of this latest agreement. Firstly, it serves as a vehicle for accumulating practical knowledge related to ammonia handling, a critical aspect of the evolving landscape of alternative fuels. Secondly, it acts as a catalyst for the development of a robust shipping system, strategically aligned with the anticipated expansion of the fuel ammonia market in the coming years.

In NYK's "ESG Story 2023" publication, released in November, the company delineated its firm commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Among these targets, NYK set forth an ambitious plan for a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas scope 1 and 2 emissions by the year 2030, measured against the baseline year of 2021. As part of this broader commitment, the company actively participates in research and development initiatives, with a particular focus on ships fueled by ammonia.

This collaborative venture between NYK and Mitsui signifies a momentous stride in the maritime industry's transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. By actively engaging in the world's premier large-scale project involving fuel ammonia within a coal-fired power plant, NYK and Mitsui are contributing not only to technological advancement but also to the broader global imperatives of decarbonization and sustainable energy practices. This collaboration serves as an exemplary model, showcasing the strategic alignment of corporate interests with the critical global imperative of addressing environmental concerns and fostering sustainable practices.

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