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Australian green technology, energy and metals company Fortescue has completed propulsion and manoeuvrability trials of its ammonia-powered vessel Fortescue Green Pioneer in the Port of Singapore.

The trials were completed with support from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), government agencies, research institutes and industry partners, Fortescue said, adding that they were conducted using 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia, in combination with diesel and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a second-generation biofuel, as marine fuel over 10 days from April 23, 2024, to May 2, 2024.

They follow the conduct of the dual-fueled ammonia fuel trial in the Port of Singapore by the Fortescue Green Pioneer in March 2024, in which the vessel received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the Gas Fuelled Ammonia notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel.

The approval and notation were awarded upon the completion of a series of fuel trials that were conducted over a period of seven weeks in February and March 2024 using 5 m3 (3 tonnes) of liquid ammonia. These trials, conducted by the Fortescue Green Pioneer at anchor, included testing of the vessel’s ammonia storage systems, associated piping, gas fuel delivery system, retrofitted engines and seaworthiness.

As mentioned above, a tranche of approximately 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia was loaded on the vessel for this new set of trials. Fortescue revealed that a designated test area along Raffles Reserved Anchorage was secured by MPA for the trials, and the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was set up at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre for representatives of MPA, Fortescue, Vopak, research institutes and government agencies to monitor the fuel loading and sea trial operations.

Ammonia plume modelling and drone surveillance were also used by the EOC to support safety and incident planning and response, Fortescue informed, adding that this set of trials can be enhanced to support the sea trials of planned ammonia-fueled vessels under the Singapore Registry of Ships prior to delivery if required.

The propulsion and manoeuvrability trials also included tests to validate the management of nitrogen-based emissions, and assessment of the vessel’s engine capability to operate on varying amounts of HVO in combination with ammonia, Fortescue stated.

Fortescue and MPA are also in discussion on the monitoring of info-comm technology and operational technology systems onboard the Fortescue Green Pioneer to develop the resilience of vessels with alternative fuels against cyber threats.


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