Ammonia-ready ship design wins approval

By Jack Burke21 April 2022

Bulk carrier will operate on LNG to start, but can transition to ammonia or carbon-neutral methane

GSC develops principle design for ammonia-ready LNG-fueled Panamax bulk carrier. (Image:ClassNK)

An ammonia-ready liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled Panamax bulk carrier has received an Approval in Principle (AIP) from ClassNK.

The ship was developed by Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships (GSC) in cooperation with member shipbuilders in Japan.

Ammonia is expected to be used as ship fuel for decarbonization since it does not emit CO2 when burned. Meanwhile, taking adequate safety measures are impartial due to its characteristics of being toxic to humans and corrosive against materials, and ClassNK has worked on development of standards and certifications.

GSC describes the newly developed design as LNG-fueled but ready for ammonia-fueled. For the short-term aiming lower CO2 emissions, it will be operated by using LNG fuel. For the long-term aiming toward zero CO2 emissions, it has two scenarios; in the first scenario, it is converted to ammonia fueled propulsion systems, in the second scenario, it will keep the systems but will switch its fuel from LNG to liquified carbon-neutral methane. The ship is developed as a flexible and efficient solution to enduring the unpredictable period of fuel transition, according to GSC.

“This design tries to apply materials and equipment applicable to both LNG and ammonia as much as possible, and also to use modularized arrangement that makes conversion easier,” the company said in a news release. “Both will contribute to minimize modification cost and to shorten non-operation periods. GSC is working to contribute to the sustainable development of Japan’s maritime industry, through the planning and designing of new ships for the realization of zero emissions in the international shipping sector.”

ClassNK reviewed the design as an LNG fueled ship based on its Rule Part GF incorporating IGF Code, and as an ammonia-ready ship based on Concept Design category of its “Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels” Annex 1 verifying the conformity to their requirements as an LNG-fueled ship and a future ammonia-fueled ship, ClassNK has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) as an ammonia-ready LNG-fueled ship.

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