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Ammonia-fuelled aframax project passes key milestone

A keenly watched ammonia-fuelled aframax project in South Korea has passed another hurdle today with the possibility that this new calibre of ecoship could hit the water within the next four years.

British class society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted approval in principle (AIP) to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for its ammonia-fuelled tanker design, a landmark project being carried out with Malaysia’s top shipping line, MISC and engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions.

This challenge calls for collective action and industry collaboration

SHI said today it will now forge ahead with its exclusive development of a relevant fuel gas supply system and detailed ship design. It aims to commercialise these developments by 2024.

Jong-Hyun Youn, SHI’s head of design, commented: “The ammonia fuel design project led by SHI brings all relevant stakeholders spanning from the fuel supplier to operator and it will result in a commercial outcome.”

LR Group CEO designate and marine and offshore director Nick Brown said: “LR is working with leading industry partners to make deepsea zero-carbon vessels a reality within this decade. Shipping needs action not words to deliver on the IMO’s 2050 GHG ambitions and this challenge calls for collective action and industry collaboration. Following the announcement of the ammonia-fuelled tanker joint development project in January, we are delighted that SHI has made steady progress on the fuel gas supply system and detailed ship design.”

In its 2020 Energy Prediction report, the International Energy Agency forecasts that the use of ammonia and hydrogen as vessel fuels will expand and will account for 60% of marine fuels by 2060. Similarly, BP announced in its 2020 energy prediction report that the portion of non-hydrocarbon fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen, biofuel and others will increase to 85% of 2018 total energy amount by 2050.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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