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PILBARA Ports Authority and Yara Clean Ammonia have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly facilitate the uptake of clean ammonia as a marine fuel in the Pilbara.

The purpose of the agreement is to jointly assess the potential ammonia demand and required bunker infrastructure, leveraging off the existing world-scale ammonia production facility of Yara Pilbara, and its clean ammonia potential in the region.

The agreement will also ensure safe ammonia bunker operations within PPA ports through collaborative safety analysis and the creation of transparent ammonia bunkering guidelines.

Both organisations agree that forming a clear understanding of the required bunker infrastructure and safe ammonia bunker guidelines will accelerate the effective uptake of clean ammonia as a fuel, and will be a major step towards making shipping fossil-fuel free.

Yara Clean Ammonia senior vice-president and commercial head Murali Srinivasan said the potential of ammonia as a fuel to effectively decarbonise the maritime industry is very clear.

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“However, some questions remain on how to maximise safe and efficient fuel delivery in a port environment. This collaboration with PPA intends to address these questions and consequently will help fast-track ammonia as a zero-carbon fuel in the region,” Mr Srinivasan said.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston said as the world’s largest bulk export port authority, PPA has a strong commitment to safe operations and sustainable shipping.

“PPA strives to be a frontrunner in establishing frameworks to ensure safe ammonia bunker operations,” he said.

“This collaboration with Yara Clean Ammonia creates great opportunities to work together to reduce carbon emissions.”

The joint assessment will be undertaken over the next year, with the results to inform future plans.

Yara is currently working on a number of green ammonia pilot projects around the world, including in the Pilbara.

The Western Australia government is supporting the development of a green ammonia industry in the Pilbara, with a $2 million investment from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund towards Yara and ENGIE’s Yuri Project, focusing on green ammonia and hydrogen.

State ports minister Rita Saffioti said the collaboration creates opportunities to work together to try and reduce carbon emissions and explore the potential to use clean ammonia as a green fuel in the shipping industry.

“This study is an important first step on the path towards providing an alternative to fossil fuels – and ultimately decarbonising the maritime industry, alongside other green fuels like hydrogen,” she said.

“Our government welcomes the collaboration agreement with Yara, which sets out the framework for a feasibility study into ammonia bunkering.”

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