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Project focuses on creating ship capable of being fuelled by either ammonia or methanol

Dual fuel ships are set to get a whole new meaning. Italian class society RINA is partnering with the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a ground-breaking ship design capable of being fuelled by either ammonia or methanol.

SDARI will focus on the ship concept development and design while RINA will verify the compliance with the applicable rules, including those for the use of alternative fuels.

The selected ship type is a tanker but the project, which is the first to investigate using both methanol and ammonia in this type of vessel, will increase understanding of the application of both fuels within the shipping industry with opportunities to apply designs to different types of ships. External support to the project will be provided by engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions.

Giosuè Vezzuto, executive vice president Marine at RINA, said: “Ship designs have come a long way in their efficiency, but to meet targets for reduced emissions we need to look to alternative fuels. A ship specifically designed and optimised for using ammonia and methanol as fuels offers a future proof, environmentally sustainable solution.”

Brian Østergaard Sørensen, vice president and head of R&D, two-stroke business at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “We encourage industry-wide partnerships for decarbonising the marine market and are very happy to collaborate with such respected institutions as RINA and SDARI. While two-stroke engine technology will likely retain its influence within deepsea shipping for the foreseeable future, ammonia and methanol are fuels with a lot of potential as clean, zero-carbon fuels and with whom we have a lot of experience.”

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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