Currently there are two companies reported to be working on some of maritime industry’s first ammonia bunker vessels. The industry is continuing to highlight the potential of ammonia as an alternative fuel. However the challenge continues, to build the infrastructure to support this change, as well as the toxicity of ammonia itself.
The first shipping company to receive Approval in Principle (AiP) for their ammonia bunkering vessel is NYK based in Japan. They reported that they are making progress in the research and design of the vessel to meet the needs of the marine fuel industry. MYK expect the ammonia vessel that was green lit for AiP to become commonly used towards the end of the 20’s. If this is the case, forward freight services will be able to reduce their CO2 emissions greatly, which is necessary as the need for international shipping keeps increasing.
The project engineering team for NYK was launched only a year ago. They generated the drawings necessary to secure the AiP. The team created original drawings as opposed to relying on ones previously made by shipyards and design companies. They used a more indepth, 3D modelling process for the concept stage. The 3D modelling process enabled them to assess the design in its entirety. For the HAZID study the 3D modelling approach was highly effective, giving a deeper insight into hazardous locations, escape routes and such.
NYK used their knowledge of the LNG fuel supply system for cars and LNG bunkering vessels which began service in 2020. They gave a good insight into how the ammonia bunker vessels should be designed.
Fratelli Cosulich based in Italy, has started a joint venture with SeaTech from Singapore, launched in November 2021. SeaTech is focusing on the ship concept development and design. Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore are providing the operational data which will support and validate the suitability of the ship design for commercial operations.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by both Fratelli Cosulich and SeaTech with Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering for the construction of an ammonia bunker tanker as the project begins to ramp up.