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Enabling ammonia as a marine fuel

Phase 2A: Detailed operational risk assessment for
ship-to-ship cargo transfer of ammonia in the port waters of Singapore

In progress

Project overview


Start Oct 2023 • End Sep 2024

GCMD team members



Wei Jie LAU


Capt. Basil REGO

Sanjay Kumar SINHA


Consultants: DNV, OSRL

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Following the completion of GCMD’s ammonia bunkering pilot safety study, the next step is to conduct vessel-, location- and operations-specific safety assessments to enable an actual ship-to-ship cargo transfer of ammonia in the port waters of Singapore.

The case for the study

With ammonia bunkering vessels and ammonia-fuelled ships not yet available, a ship-to-ship (STS) cargo transfer between two ammonia gas carriers in port limits is the closest to a bunkering operation. 

Operationalising such a pilot can build confidence in the ecosystem and further identify operational gaps that need to be addressed before an actual bunkering operation can take place. 

Subject to approval, Phase 2a findings will inform the execution of STS ammonia cargo transfer pilot within port limits. Combining risk assessments with an actual STS trial will facilitate the development and operationalisation of emergency response procedures . These procedures can then be further refined to cater to eventual ammonia bunkering operations.

Scope of the study

To operationalise an ammonia transfer pilot between two identified gas carriers within port limits, a detailed safety assessment based on the specific configuration of the vessel(s) is required. These nominated carriers also have trained crew in handling ammonia with specific standard operational procedures (SOPs). These SOPs need to be assessed and modified ,where necessary, to meet eventual bunkering requirements. 

Therefore, to prepare for such an STS transfer of ammonia at the Raffles Reserve Anchorage, regulatory agencies need to evaluate the strength of the risk assessments, the effectiveness of proposed mitigating actions and the robustness of first responder’s readiness. 

This evaluation will form the basis for a table-top exercise under the purview of the regulators prior to approvals for the execution of the pilot. 

The following scope of work needs to be completed and presented to the regulators is :

  • Detailed Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA), HAZID and HAZOP for the vessels that have been identified for the STS pilot

  • Undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to evaluate the risks of spillage and support the development of emergency response plans in close discussions with relevant regulatory agencies

  • Develop emergency response plans (ERP)

  • Develop STS transfer procedures that mimic bunkering operations in port waters and coordinate with emergency responders and vessel operators

  • Conduct gap analysis of ammonia crew training (based on what is presently needed for STS cargo transfer) and bunkering crew competency requirements 

Findings will be shared with the maritime ecosystem and any recommendations on the final checklist for STS of ammonia will be put forward to the appropriate entities.

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