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Green Seas Ahead: Ammonia and Methanol Fuel a Clean Shipping Revolution

1 Feb 2024

Charting a Course for Clean Oceans: How Hydrogen Derivatives Will Transform Global Trade

Move over, dirty fuels! The shipping industry is about to get a major green makeover, fueled by clean ammonia and methanol. Buckle up for a future where these hydrogen derivatives power massive ships across the globe, slashing emissions and leaving a trail of clean air in their wake.

This ain't just pie-in-the-sky dreaming. Analyst Stuart Nicoll predicts a surge in clean ammonia trade by 2050, requiring a fleet of hundreds of new carrier vessels. Imagine 386 giant ships gliding across the waves, loaded with ammonia produced using renewable energy – that's the vision for the future.

Blue vs. Green: The Dueling Fuels

But wait, there's more than one shade of clean. Just like your favorite eco-friendly jeans, ammonia comes in blue and green versions. Blue ammonia uses natural gas with carbon capture, while green goes all-in on renewable energy like solar or wind.

Blue ammonia might dominate the early years, thanks to lower costs and existing infrastructure. Think of it as the training wheels for the clean shipping revolution. But green ammonia is the real prize, a true zero-emission champion that will take center stage by 2050.

Methanol Makes a Splash

Methanol, another hydrogen hero, is also joining the party. Clean methanol trade is expected to rise to 100 million tonnes by 2050, fueling ships and even playing a role in the hydrogen economy. While not quite as massive as the ammonia armada, 180 dedicated methanol carriers will be needed to transport this clean fuel around the world.

The Geography of Clean Shipping

So, where will all this clean fuel come from and go? Latin America and Africa are poised to become major ammonia exporters, while Europe and Northeast Asia will be thirsty importers. For methanol, Oceania and the Middle East are key players, with Europe and North America leading the demand.

Investing in a Greener Future

This clean shipping revolution won't happen overnight. It requires substantial investments in new ships, retrofitting existing vessels, and building renewable energy infrastructure. But the rewards are clear: a cleaner planet, healthier oceans, and a more sustainable future for maritime trade.

So, get ready to wave goodbye to smoky stacks and hello to a cleaner, greener shipping industry. Buckle up, because the future of shipping is sailing towards us, powered by clean ammonia and methanol!

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