Shipowner Eastern Pacific Shipping is preparing for the ammonia-ready vessels it has ordered at shipyards.

The Idan Ofer-led company is teaming up with MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) on the development of crew training for the handling of ammonia as fuel on vessels.

Eastern Pacific said a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the engine maker which will enable the shipping company to be trained alongside MAN ES’ engineers on the safe handling of ammonia for its dual-fuel engines, and to develop training material to strengthen capability building on the transportation of alternative fuels like ammonia over time.

“Both signatories are committed to further this process working alongside classification-society and regulators,” Eastern Pacific said.

Eastern Pacific chief executive Cyril Ducau said the MoU “not only underscores the significance of the partnership with MAN ES as they pioneer the industry’s green transformation, but also complements our recent commitment to collaborate with stakeholders such as the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore, to create the right environment for the safe transportation of alternative fuels like ammonia”.

“It will enable us to address challenges more holistically to develop tailored training that will enhance crew safety and strengthen environmental aspects as we decarbonise the global shipping industry safely.”

Bjarne Foldager of MAN ES said the training will cover a range of innovations and safety measures that have been incorporated into the ammonia engine design to ensure safe and reliable operation at sea.

Eastern Pacific said its relationships with MAN ES goes back “decades”.

The company is working with MAN ES to enable the delivery of MAN B&W dual-fuel ammonia engines for a number of very large ammonia carriers and ammonia-ready newcastlemax bulkers.

According to Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network, Eastern Pacific has 14 ammonia-ready 210,000-dwt bulk carriers and eight VLAC newbuildings on order at shipyards in China and South Korea.