Trafigura Drives Industry Progress with First Ammonia STS Transfer

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Trafigura First STS Ammonia Transfer

Trafigura Group Pte Ltd (Trafigura), a market leader in the global commodities industry, has successfully completed its first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of ammonia. This took place last week in international waters close to the port of Ceuta in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Approximately 6,000 metric tonnes of ammonia (NH3), supplied by CF Industries from their Donaldsonville, Louisiana-based manufacturing complex, were safely transferred between the Green Power Medium Gas Carrier (MGC), owned by ship owner/operator Purus on time charter to Trafigura, and the Small Gas Carrier Gas Aegean. The shipment will be received by Fertiberia for the production of fertilizer.

The STS operation was conducted by International Fender Providers (IFP) in line with current regulations. STS transfers are commonly used for other commodities to load cargo onto more suitable vessels for delivery to the destination, however, until recently, they have not been widely adopted by the ammonia industry.

“Our first safe and efficient ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia supports our growing ammonia trading activity. Importantly, it demonstrates the feasibility of ammonia bunkering in the future as demand grows for the hydrogen-based low-carbon fuels that will enable the shipping industry to decarbonize,” said Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura.

In May 2024, Trafigura signed a contract for four MGCs that will be capable of using low-carbon ammonia as a propulsion fuel when delivered. The vessels will be built at HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, with the first ship to be delivered in 2027.

“We are proud to partner with Trafigura on this historic STS with Green Power, one of our seven modern MGCs for ammonia transport. This STS transfer demonstrates our capability to offer customers end-to-end floating pipeline solutions for energy transition cargoes that can offer greater flexibility and speed-to-market than conventional onshore storage tanks, accelerating the clean energy transition,” said a spokesperson from Purus.

Decarbonizing shipping

Trafigura is one of the world’s largest charterers of vessels, responsible for more than 5,000 voyages a year with around 400 ships currently under management. The company has committed to reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of its shipping fleet by 25 percent by the end of FY2030, against the 2019 IMO benchmark. Since 2020, Trafigura has led the industry in calling for a global carbon levy on marine fuels to incentivize and accelerate the uptake of low-carbon marine fuels.

Trafigura’s shipping team is one of the few operators to have tested a full range of alternative shipping fuels including LNG, methanol, LPG, and biofuels on its owned and chartered vessels. It has co-sponsored the development of a two-stroke engine by MAN Energy Solutions that can run on low-carbon ammonia and is also investing in onboard emissions capture technology.

Investments are also being made in wider efficiency measures such as silicone hull coating, wake-equalizing ducts, ultrasonic propeller antifouling technology, and continuous underwater hull cleaning and propeller polishing.

Trafigura is a founding member of the Sea Cargo Charter, an industry coalition established to collect, assess, and report shipping emissions, a key member of the Global Maritime Forum’s Getting to Zero coalition, and a founding member of the First Movers Coalition.

About CF Industries Holdings

At CF Industries, our mission is to provide clean energy to feed and fuel the world sustainably. With our employees focused on safe and reliable operations, environmental stewardship, and disciplined capital and corporate management, we are on a path to decarbonize our ammonia production network – the world’s largest – to enable green and low-carbon hydrogen and nitrogen products for energy, fertilizer, emissions abatement, and other industrial activities. Our manufacturing complexes in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, an unparalleled storage, transportation, and distribution network in North America, and logistics capabilities enabling a global reach underpin our strategy to leverage our unique capabilities to accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy.

About Purus

Purus is a world leader in providing global energy customers with maritime services for the gas transport and offshore wind industries. We own and operate one of the world’s largest and youngest fleets of gas carriers, construction service operation vessels (C/SOVs), and crew transfer vessels (CTVs). We are at the forefront of decarbonizing the maritime sector, deploying a range of technologies such as clean fuels, energy-saving devices, electrification, and carbon capture systems. Purus operates from six offices globally, providing customers with technical and commercial ship management in addition to vessel design, contracting, newbuild supervision, and crewing services.

About Trafigura

Trafigura is a leading commodities group, owned by its employees and founded over 30 years ago. At the heart of global supply, Trafigura connects vital resources to power and build the world. We deploy infrastructure, market expertise, and our worldwide logistics network to move oil and petroleum products, metals and minerals, gas, and power from where they are produced to where they are needed, forming strong relationships that make supply chains more efficient, secure, and sustainable. We invest in renewable energy projects and technologies to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy, including through H2Energy Europe and joint venture Nala Renewables.

The Trafigura Group also comprises industrial assets and operating businesses including multi-metals producer Nyrstar, fuel storage and distribution company Puma Energy, and our Impala Terminals joint venture. The Group employs over 12,000 people, of which over 1,400 are shareholders and is active in 156 countries.

Source Trafigura Group