The Global Maritime Forum and RMI released a study suggesting potential pathways for ports to introduce green methanol and ammonia bunkering.

The report aims at the International Maritime Organization’s target, which stipulates a minimum of 5% utilization of zero-emission fuels by 2030.

The maritime industry’s shift towards decarbonization will necessitate a reshuffle in the sourcing and distribution of marine fuels. The report identifies potential sources for green methanol and ammonia which are derivations of green hydrogen.

Due to the economic viability of green methanol and ammonia transportation, robust trade is expected between low-cost production regions and key ports. This could further establish a country’s position within the growing hydrogen economy if sufficiently supported by green shipping fuels legislation.

The report also discusses the broad possibilities for smaller ports to contribute. These establishments, especially in the Global South, can leverage their renewable resources and establish cost-competitively hydrogen production facilities and engage in the global bunker market.

The report predicts differing supply dynamics for green methanol and green ammonia. While green methanol production could be localized major bunkering centers and European ports, green ammonia seems more likely to be distributed globally. Potential green ammonia production regions include the United States, South America, Australia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report identifies four “archetypes” of ports, defined by common opportunities, challenges, and actions needed to develop green methanol or ammonia bunkering. The findings are expected to assist ports in formulating strategies for implementing these green fuels.

Ports can play a significant role in advancing maritime shipping decarbonization. By participating in hydrogen import-export alliances, establishing green shipping corridors, and contributing to standards and guidelines for these new fuels, ports can stimulate early investments in these sectors.

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