Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) plans to have the world's first ammonia-powered ship ready by the end of 2022.
Mining billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, the Australian company's chairman and founder, told Bloomberg that the company has about 100 ships for transporting ore, "and we'll be converting all our own ships over to green ammonia at the earliest possible opportunity, well within this decade".
Green ammonia is made by adding nitrogen from the air to green hydrogen produced using renewable energy.
Forrest has proved to be one of the world's loudest advocates for green H2 in recent months, launching the Green Hydrogen Organisation, announcing multiple giga-scale renewable hydrogen projects around the world and a plan to build a 2GW electrolyser factory in partnership with US manufacturer Plug Power.
FMG said in a statement that it is moving quickly to convert the 75-metre offshore supply ship MMA Leveque (built in 2010) to ammonia, in collaboration with its owner, Australia's MMA Offshore, over the next year.
The aim is to run it "almost totally" on green ammonia, the company added.
"This vessel will show the shipping industry the power of a vessel fuelled by green ammonia in real-world conditions," Forrest said in the statement.
The miner announced earlier this year that it was planning to retrofit its fleet of ore carriers to use green ammonia as part of efforts to achieve net-zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040.
Recharge's sister newspaper TradeWinds previously reported that the world's first ammonia-fuelled engine from designer MAN Energy Solutions will only be available from the end of 2024, and the first vessels kitted out with the propulsion system will likely enter service in 2025 or 2026.
A version of this article first appeared in TradeWinds.