October 17, 2022

Lloyd’s Register to investigate Pilbara potential for ammonia as a clean shipping fuel

Lloyd's Register (LR), the global professional services organization specializing in maritime engineering and technology solutions, has been selected to undertake key feasibility studies into using clean ammonia to refuel ships at the world-scale ports in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Pilbara plant aerial view
Pilbara plant aerial view

The announcement follows the signing of a collaboration agreement in August between Yara Clean Ammonia and Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA).

Yara Clean Ammonia Vice President Bunkering – Port Relationships & Regulation, Tessa Major said Yara’s existing and developing operations in the Pilbara are the perfect catalyst for unlocking new opportunities, and this is strengthened by a shared commitment with PPA to enable decarbonisation in the shipping industry.

“Yara Clean Ammonia's ambitions in Australia will move the dial in the energy transition and an exciting part of that is creating emission-free fuel to power ships.” Ms Major said.

LR will provide analysis focusing on key factors needed to assess the potential uptake of ammonia refueling (also known as bunkering). The feasibility study will comprise the market for clean fuels in shipping; shore side infrastructure requirements; safety considerations; and the regulations required to support ammonia bunkering at Pilbara ports. The execution of the study is expected to take at least 12 months.

Last month, the final investment decision was announced for Project Yuri, which will see a renewable hydrogen plant built adjacent to the Yara Pilbara’s existing ammonia plants close to PPA’s Dampier port. The Yuri plant is an innovation-leading approach and will be one of the first globally to demonstrate the use of renewable hydrogen as a feedstock to produce ammonia at an existing ammonia plant, and is the first project of its kind in Australia.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston said the feasibility study will guide the future of ammonia bunkering in the Pilbara.

“PPA is well placed to support clean energy transitions in the maritime industry in the Pilbara,

“Our operations are in close proximity to ammonia fuel production facilities and there are numerous bulk ships dedicated to particular routes which frequently visit our ports.”

Lloyd’s Register chief commercial officer Andy McKeran said the maritime industry had to make some significant investment decisions around alternative fuels in the decade ahead, but maritime value chain stakeholders needed surety on future fuel availability and the existence of landside infrastructure.

“Studies like this one will help give more certainty on the feasibility of the options being considered and will enable the industry to work to address the safety challenges around their safe adoption,” Mr McKeran said.

As part of the study, Yara Clean Ammonia and PPA will look to establish an advisory committee including representatives of shipping customers and providers to have input into the process.

About Yara Clean Ammonia (YCA)

Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet. Yara Clean Ammonia is uniquely positioned to enable the hydrogen economy in a market expected to grow substantially over the next decades. We aim at significantly strengthening our leading global position as the world’s largest ammonia distributor, unlock-ing the green and blue value chains, and driving the development of clean ammonia globally.

Building on Yara’s leading experience within global ammonia production, logistics and trade, Yara Clean Ammonia works towards capturing growth opportunities in low-emission fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free food production and ammonia for industrial applications.

Yara Clean Ammonia operates the largest global ammonia network with 12 ships and has access to 18 ammonia terminals and multiple ammonia production and consumption sites across the world, through Yara. Revenues and EBITDA for the last 12 months were USD 3,638 million and USD 172 million respectively as per Q1 2022. Yara Clean Ammonia is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.


About Pilbara Ports Authority

PPA is the world’s largest bulk export port authority, encompassing the ports of Ashburton, Dampier, Port Hedland and Varanus Island. PPA operates as a Western Australia Government Trading Enterprise (GTE) and is governed by the Ports Authorities Act 1999 (WA). PPA handles more than 17,000 safe vessel movements a year, with an average of 35 vessels per day. In 2021-22, PPA achieved a record-breaking total annual throughput of 733.1 million tonnes, with the value of commodities passing through its ports in excess of $165 billion.

About Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register is a global professional services company specializing in engineering and technology for the maritime industry. Our Marine and Offshore business is a leading provider of classification and compliance services to the marine and offshore industries, while our Maritime Performance Services enable businesses to reach their full potential – now and into the future. Our Digital Solutions combine modern digital tools with deep technical expertise.

Lloyd’s Register is wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a politically and financially independent global charity. All of this helps us stand by the purpose that drives us every single day; working together for a safer world.

Media Contacts

Yara Clean Ammonia:                          Yara Clean Ammonia Australia

Hilde Steinfield                                     Casey Cahill                                     
Mobile: +47 993 53 030                   Mobile: +61 0413 992 195
E-mail: hilde.steinfeld@yara.com       E-mail: casey@counselcomms.com.au

Pilbara Ports Authority:                       Lloyd's Register:

Keely Liron                                           Nichola Good                                      
Mobile: +61 437 419 742                Mobile: +44 7855113273
E-mail: media@pilbaraports.com.au  E-mail: nicola.good@lr.org