Trafigura Makes History With First Ammonia Ship-to-Ship Transfer


  • In a landmark achievement for the shipping industry, Trafigura, a major commodities trader, has completed the world’s first ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia.
  • This successful operation, conducted near the Strait of Gibraltar last week, marks a significant step towards cleaner shipping practices.

Ammonia for a Greener Future

The transferred cargo – roughly 6,000 metric tons of ammonia (NH3) – originated from CF Industries in Louisiana and was destined for Fertiberia for fertilizer production. The key takeaway, however, lies in the vessels involved. The ammonia journey utilized the Green Power Medium Gas Carrier (MGC), owned by Purus and chartered by Trafigura, before being transferred to the smaller Gas Aegean carrier.

Why This Matters

This successful transfer demonstrates the feasibility of using ammonia for ship bunkering, the process of refueling vessels at sea. Currently, the shipping industry relies heavily on fossil fuels, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Ammonia, though not entirely emission-free, offers a cleaner alternative with the potential to drastically reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

Trafigura’s Commitment to Decarbonization

Trafigura is taking a leading role in driving this change. Their commitment extends beyond this historic transfer, as evidenced by their recent contract for four MGCs specifically designed to utilize ammonia as fuel. Additionally, the company boasts a range of ongoing sustainability initiatives:

  • Aiming for a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity for their shipping fleet by 2030.
  • Advocating for a global carbon levy on marine fuels.
  • Actively testing and investing in alternative fuels like ammonia-compatible engines and on-board emission capture technology.
  • Participating in key industry coalitions focused on clean energy transition.

A Step Towards a Cleaner Horizon

Trafigura’s successful ammonia transfer, coupled with their broader sustainability efforts, signifies a crucial step towards a greener future for the shipping industry. As the industry embraces cleaner fuel alternatives and decarbonization strategies, the path is being paved for a more sustainable maritime landscape.

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Source: Trafigura