Japanese shipping line Iino Kaiun Kaisha has sealed a time charter deal with compatriot trading house Mitsui & Co for a newbuild 23,000 cu m ammonia carrier. The vessel will be built by the South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, and delivered in December 2023.
According to a joint statement, the vessel is the world’s first ammonia carrier to be designed and built based on the basic certification for ammonia-fuel-ready ship by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and will be a next-generation ship that can also transport LPG and switch to LPG as well as ammonia fuel.
For Iino, which has been engaged in domestic and overseas transportation of liquefied gases, the charter marks a re-entry into the ammonia shipping business for the first time since 2017.
Mitsui currently handles around 700,000 tons of ammonia per year, primarily for Asian markets. The company holds the largest share in ammonia imported into Japan and has been supplying ammonia mainly for use in the production of chemicals and fertilizers.
The vessel will transport ammonia to existing Mitsui customers from Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia, including Japan. Mitsui will also consider using the vessel to supply Japan with clean fuel ammonia.