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First gas tanker with ammonia propulsion to come from Japan

The first gas tanker with ammonia propulsion is to come from Japan. The shipping company NYK has concluded corresponding contracts for such a ship with a shipyard and suppliers.

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems and Nihon Shipyard have signed a series of contracts for the construction of the world’s first ammonia-fueled medium-sized gas carrier (AFMGC). [ds_preview]

By developing and building the AFMGC, the consortium aims to contribute to the practical application of ammonia-powered ships. The ship is scheduled for delivery in November 2026.

In October 2021, the four companies were selected by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for its Green Innovation Fund Project. Together with ClassNK, the five parties are now working on a demonstration project for the commercialization of ships equipped with a domestically produced ammonia-powered engine.

International regulations for ships using ammonia as fuel do not yet exist and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is currently discussing this issue. “This project is one of the first to develop ammonia-fueled ships and the knowledge gained from the construction and operation of AFMGCs will be essential to progress discussions at the IMO,” it says. The consortium says it will work closely with ClassNK and the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to actively contribute to international rule-making.

Ammonia, which has traditionally been used mainly for fertilizers and other chemical feedstocks, is expected to be used for co-combustion in thermal power plants and as a hydrogen carrier, and demand for ammonia is expected to increase rapidly in Japan and overseas. At the same time, the demand for ammonia in manufacturing and marine transportation will also increase, and an ammonia value chain is expected to develop.

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