A MITSUI O.S.K. Lines tanker taken on charter by Yara International for Pacific trading has already loaded two ammonia cargoes from Dampier’s Withnell Bay.

The 2010-built, 34,500 cubic-metre Green Pioneer, originally used as a LPG carrier, shipped an inaugural cargo of anhydrous ammonia from Yara’s Burrup Peninsula plant in early January, discharging in Kwinana from 9 through 11 January. The ship then returned to Dampier and loaded for Jinshan, China, followed by Niihama, Japan, and is now en route to Singapore on the way back to WA.

Late last year MOL announced the signing of a time charter contract for Green Pioneer with Yara Clean Ammonia Switzerland SA, a group company of Yara International ASA of Oslo, Norway, the world’s largest nitrogen fertiliser manufacturer. The vessel was delivered on 25 December 2023.

Ammonia is now mainly used as a raw material for fertilisers, but it is expected to see a significant increase in demand in the future as a next-generation clean energy that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, such as mixed burning in coal-fired power plants and use as a hydrogen carrier, MOL said.

“MOL and the Yara Group have been working together since the signing of a memorandum of understanding on decarbonisation projects including ammonia area in 2022, and the conclusion of this regular charter contract is one of the achievements resulting from that agreement,” the shipping line said.

Both companies aim to build a long-term partnership in the clean ammonia field and actively expand their business to build an ammonia supply chain.

“MOL has positioned environmental strategy as one of its main strategies in its management plan Blue Action 2035 and set a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The MOL Group will contribute to the realisation of a decarbonised society by further accumulating a track record of high-quality and safe ammonia transportation and actively participating in the wide-ranging value chain of ammonia, which is expected to see large-scale demand in the future due to its introduction as a fuel.”

The 173.70-metre Green Pioneer is operated by MOL Tankship Management of Singapore and head-owned by Houyoshi Ocean Corp and Komenaka Kaiun Co Ltd of Japan.