Sep 7, 2022 | Ship classification news

ClassNK has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) for an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) concept that is currently under research and development by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems, and Nihon Shipyard.

Ammonia is expected to be used as ship fuel for decarbonisation since it does not emit CO2 when combusted. Meanwhile, adequate safety measures are imperative as it has been pointed out that ammonia is toxic to humans and corrosive to materials. ClassNK has been involved in projects aiming for zero-emission ships using ammonia fuel in terms of safety assessment, and has issued its Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels as a necessary standard to minimise the risks related to ammonia-fuelled ships for the ships, crews, and environment by stipulating requirements for installation, controls, and safety devices.

NYK Line, Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems, and Nihon Shipyard have promoted a demonstration project for the commercialisation of vessels equipped with a domestic-produced ammonia-fuelled engine under the approval of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as a part of the Green Innovation Fund project. With the goal of early social implementation of next-generation fuel vessels, the Consortium is developing:

  • a two-stroke ammonia-fuelled engine for vessel propulsion,
  • a four-stroke ammonia-fuelled engine for onboard power supply, and
  • a safe and environmentally friendly hull. The Consortium is working together to study the feasibility of construction and commercial operation of the prototype vessel in an integrated manner.

ClassNK carried out a design review of the AFAGC developed through this project in accordance with Part N of Rules for the Survey and Construction of Steel Ships incorporating the IGC Code as well as Part C-2 of Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels and issued the AiP on verifying that it complies with the prescribed requirements.

As the ship’s delivery is targeted in fiscal 2026, ClassNK will continue to support this project as the certification body, including assistance to obtain the flag administration’s approval by applying the alternative design scheme of SOLAS convention. Through the expertise gained from the collaboration, the society also ensures its design review and on-site survey structure as well as standard development for ammonia-fuelled ships.

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