HMM cooperates with LOTTE Fine Chemical in shipping ammonia

The South Korean shipping group HMM has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the sea transport of ammonia with the specialty chemicals company LOTTE Fine Chemical from the country.

The MoU also covers bunkering of ammonia and methanol fuel and comes after HMM placed a major order for methanol-fueled container ships.

As reported in February, HMM has ordered nine 9,000 TEU container ships powered by methanol dual-fuel engines from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) and HJ Shipbuilding and Construction (HJSC).

The ships are to be deployed on the Asia-North/Latin America and Asia-India trade routes, with delivery expected in 2025-2026.

HMM said the green shipping corridors between Busan in Korea and major ports in the US are also one of the potential routes for the new ships to operate.

In addition, the company has partnered with five fuel suppliers, including Proman, PTTEP, European Energy and Hyundai Corporation, to ensure the supply of methanol to its newly ordered ships.

The latest collaboration agreement between HMM and Lotte builds on the work of a consortium formed by HMM in 2021 with five Korean partners to explore viable solutions to form the end-to-end green ammonia supply chain. LOTTE Fine Chemical was one of the five members.

Based on the MoU signed today, HMM will ship the ammonia fuel secured by LOTTE Fine Chemical and handle all ship operations during transit. LOTTE Fine Chemical, which has Korea’s largest ammonia storage facility, plans to procure ammonia and methanol fuel to power the HMM ship.

According to the “Net Zero by 2050” scenario reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA), ammonia is attracting attention as one of the next-generation energy sources and is expected to account for around 45% of marine fuel demand in 2050.

“We are striving across the company to accelerate our environmental initiatives for a zero-carbon future. We will continue to explore sustainable and clean energy and find a way to go green,” said an HMM official.

HMM has since sought to expand its reach into the environmental arena. HMM is preparing operational tests of an onboard carbon capture system (OCCS) for its container ship.

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