In a sign of potential supply challenges for the maritime industry, Japanese electrical utility JERA has launched a pilot project using one of shipping’s most promising future fuels in a shoreside powerplant.
In collaboration with JERA and IHI Corporation, the Japanese government’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization is underwriting a four-year ammonia trial at Hekinan coal-fired thermal power station. The early-stage engineering trial will gradually ramp up an ammonia mix ratio in one of the plant’s five boiler units, and the partners will carefully evaluate the impact on equipment and emissions. The objective is to increase the rate of ammonia co-firing to a target of 20 percent by 2025, yielding potential CO2 reductions of up to 20 percent (depending upon the source of the ammonia).
Replacing an existing thermal coal powerplant with an efficient natural gas turbine powerplant typically yields carbon emissions reductions in the range of 50 percent, according to American engineering firm Parker Hannifin. Natural gas combined cycle powerplants have a significant efficiency edge over even the best coal-fired boiler units, and natural gas contains significantly less carbon than coal.
Japan’s coal powerplants have taken on an increased role after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in 2011, and Japanese utilities are planning to build nearly two dozen new thermal coal power generating units by 2025, despite climate targets. Japan’s government has announced plans to allow coal plants with at least 43 percent thermal efficiency to continue operating past 2030; by comparison, the world’s most efficient combined cycle natural gas powerplant – the Nishi Nagoya station in Japan – has a thermal efficiency of about 63 percent.
If executed as planned, JERA’s transition to 20 percent ammonia co-firing would absorb a significant fraction of the global green-fuel industry’s output. According to the Ammonia Energy Association, the entire output of the planned Australian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) – a 2,500 square mile, $36 billion power station on some of the world’s best wind and solar real estate – would supply less than half of Japan’s coal-fired powerplants at a 20 percent co-firing ratio. If used exclusively to power vessels, AREH’s output would be enough to fuel about 200 large container ships.
Ammonia may be one of the most promising low/no-carbon fuel sources for the maritime industry, as it has relatively high energy density and its production and transport are well-understood. However, it comes with known challenges. When it is made using renewable electricity (green ammonia), it requires vast quantities of power; when produced using fossil-fuel sources, it requires CO2 sequestration at an unprecedented industrial scale in order to generate a low-carbon product (blue ammonia).
Improvements in technology could alter this equation: cost and efficiency gains in green hydrogen production appear to be on the horizon, as well as new methods to extract hydrogen from natural gas via pyrolysis (for “turquoise” ammonia). On the consumption side, a transition to high-efficiency generating equipment – ammonia-powered fuel cells and ammonia-powered gas turbines – has the potential to reduce losses in energy utilization, stretching a finite resource.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]