U-Ming and Itochu to explore joint operation of ammonia-powered bulkers


U-Ming Marine and Itochu Corporation to explore joint ownership and operation of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers.

U-Ming and Itochu to explore join operation of ammonia-powered bulkers
Ubuntu Integrity/ LNG-powered bulker owned by U-Ming © Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding

U-Ming Marine Transport, a subsidiary of Taiwanese-listed U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tokyo-based trading house Itochu Corporation to explore joint ownership and operation of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers.

Amidst the rising demand for decarbonization within the shipping industry, the collaboration between U-Ming and Itochu capitalizes on U-Ming’s expertise in dual fuel technology. Namely, U-Ming operates four owned LNG dual-fuel Capesize bulk carriers.

U-Ming said that the implementation of dual-fuel technology has allowed the company to build strong relationships with major shippers, shipyards, and shipping companies which will play a key role in advancing ammonia as a fuel.

In addition, U-Ming is undertaking feasibility studies regarding the installation of rotor sails, carbon capture systems, and the retrofitting of traditional oil fuel systems to methanol dual-fuel on its ships to cut carbon footprint across its existing fleet.

The MoU signing is part of Itochu‘s “Integrated Project” initiative, aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions by developing ammonia dual-fuel ships and establishing a global ammonia supply chain in collaboration with industry partners.

Itochu embarked on a study last year to explore the development of an ammonia bunkering hub in Algeciras, situated on the Gibraltar Strait in Spain, as part of its endeavour to set up a worldwide ammonia supply chain.

The MoU also outlines the exploration and implementation of other maritime emission lowering solutions such as the use of alternative fuels like methanol and various energy-saving devices.