As ammonia gains traction as one of the potential zero-carbon fuels, with several ammonia dual-fuelled newbuilding orders being placed, the development of bunkering vessels that will supply these next-generation-fueled ships is also pressing ahead.
Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), along with compatriot trading house Itochu, has acquired approval in principle (AIP) from the American class society ABS for an ammonia bunkering vessel, designed in cooperation with Sembcorp Marine Integrated Yard.
The project is part of a joint development study on the ammonia fuel supply chain in Singapore. MOL is spearheading the project together with its partners in the LNG bunkering business in Singapore, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and Pavilion Energy.
As part of its net zero by 2050 plans, MOL is working to develop ammonia-fuelled vessels and create an ammonia shipping business, with the first ships expected in the late 2020s at the earliest.
Japan has been working to develop ammonia-powered deepsea ships and take a commercial lead in what is widely seen as the next generation of propulsion. In addition to MOL, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and NS United Kauin Kaisha have also partnered with Itochu, along with the country’s largest shipbuilder, Nihon Shipyard and Mitsui E&S Machinery, to bring these ships to the market by as early as 2028. Most recently, Sumitomo Corporation launched a project to design and develop an ammonia-fuelled 80,000 dwt bulker together with Oshima Shipbuilding with a planned first ship due to deliver by 2025.