Ammonia-fueled vessel gets approval

By Mike Brezonick04 November 2022

Japanese marine classification society ClassNK has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) for ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that is currently under research and development of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), Japan Engine Corp., IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd., and Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd.

ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier A rendering of the ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier that has achieved Approval in Principle (AiP) from ClassNK. (Photo: Nihon Shipyard)

Ammonia is expected to be used as ship fuel for decarbonization since it does not emit CO2 when combusted. Meanwhile, adequate safety measures are imperative as ammonia is toxic to humans and corrosive to materials.

ClassNK has been involved in projects aiming for zero-emission ships using ammonia fuel in terms of safety assessment and has issued its “Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels” as a standard to minimize the risks related to ammonia-fueled ships for the ships, crews, and environment by stipulating requirements for installation, controls and safety devices.

NYK Line, Japan Engine Corp., IHI Power Systems and Nihon Shipyard are taking part in a demonstration project for the commercialization of vessels equipped with a domestically produced ammonia-fueled engine under the approval of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as a part of the Green Innovation Fund project.

With the goal of early social implementation of next-generation fuel vessels, the consortium is developing a two-stroke ammonia-fueled engine for vessel propulsion, a four-stroke ammonia-fueled engine for onboard power supply and a safe and environmentally friendly hull. The consortium is also studying the feasibility of construction and commercial operation of the prototype vessel in an integrated manner.

As the ship’s delivery is targeted in fiscal 2026, ClassNK will continue to support this project as the certification body, including assistance to obtain the flag administration’s approval by applying the alternative design scheme of SOLAS convention. Through the expertise gained from the collaboration, the society also ensures its design review and on-site survey structure as well as standard development for ammonia-fueled ships.

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