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Kristin Svardal, the leader of Ocean Hyway Cluster, welcomes to the public meeting in Florø.

Published 01.12.2023.

HYEX Safety at public meeting about first ammonia fuel bunkering terminal

Ammonia Fuel Bunkering Network (AFBN) is a consortium led by AZANE fuel solutions working to develop the first bunkering terminal for (green) ammonia in the world. Key partners include Yara Clean Ammonia, along with Fjord Base and Ocean Hyway Cluster in Florø, where the first terminal is planned. HYEX Safety has worked to ensure a best possible level of safety at the terminal and to support the permitting process with a risk assessment (QRA) to establish risk contours. Gas bunkering terminals are generally defined as Major Accident Facilities, often with demanding permitting processes. Upon reviewing the application, the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) has sent the risk contours from the HYEX QRA for public hearing, which is required before a permit to start construction can be issued. Yesterday, the 30-day public hearing ended, and earlier this week the AFBN held a public information meeting in Florø, also streamed to subscribers of newspaper Firdaposten.

Olav Roald Hansen of HYEX Safety speaks about the site safety and the estimated consideration zones.

After AFBN-partners presented their plans a Q&A session followed where risk contours and safety were obvious topics. HYEX explained how the refrigerated storage (-33 °C), which is much safer than pressurised storage at ambient temperature, would ensure an excellent level of safety. No spills of liquid ammonia may happen outside transfer operations, unless there is a catastrophic failure of both the barge and the storage tank, e.g. due to a major ship collision. While there may be liquid releases due to hose failures during transfer operations, these have a very low likelihood and will be quickly detected and stopped, limiting inner consideration zone (red contour – to be fenced) and middle consideration zone (yellow – limit for residential areas) to around 100 m or less. The outer consideration zone (green – limit for schools, hospitals etc.) with an estimated fatality rate once per 10 million years, is defined by the catastrophic ship collision scenario, still this outer zone is kept within the industrial area at Fjord Base or over sea, and well clear of residential areas.

The coming weeks will be interesting, if a permit to build is received, a decision to start construction could be made early next year and the terminal could be in operation 2025. To handle the chicken-and-egg challenge, Yara Clean Ammonia is about to start 24 MW green ammonia production in Porsgrunn, expected to be largest in the world in these early days. And two weeks ago, consortium member AMON Maritime/Viridis Bulk Carriers, placed the first order in the world for a maritime ammonia engine with Wärtsilä.