Progress On Japanese Ammonia-Fueled Ship Design
There are various new technologies around to help push the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, one such technology is the Japanese Ammonia-fueled ship design.
Ammonia as a fuel has emerged as the front-runner for alternative fuels, of which Japan has been a big supporter of. The Japanese government has been funding a range of programmes across all industries. Out of this, two of Japan’s leading shipping companies are reporting progress.
By 2025 the goal for Japan is to have a commercial alternative to what is around currently. The focus of the project has been centered around new commercial ammonia-fueled ship design. Simultaneously they have been working on the new technologies to bridge the gap from the current fuels to the alternatives.
NYK has been working with MTI and Elomatic as the next stage of development. Together they have finalised the concept design of a new Capesize bulk carrier and a very large crude oil tanker. The design was based from a widely used LNG system. This has helped with developing a design for the majority of vessels in use, to efficiently convert them to ammonia-fueled vessels. They believe that once they’ve developed an ammonia-fueled ship design, this will provide the next-bridge solution for the realisation of future carbon neutral vessels.
As the project progresses the companies have been highlighting all the challenges that they’ve had to overcome to provide ammonia-fueled vessels. For example, Ammonia is an incredibly toxic substance. This will impact how fuel will be handled onboard these revolutionary ships. Also, a fuel tank with a larger capacity shall also be needed if the ammonia-fueled ship is to have the same endurance as an LNG ship. Therefore the interior space of the vessel will need to be addressed, as well as the loadable cargo weight. In addition, the stability and buoyancy of the vessel will need to be adjusted and reconfigured to ensure they are seaworthy.
In today’s day and age, without shipping, the economy would fall apart. Reliable global shipping companies are relied upon daily as most countries are dependent on others for something or another. Therefore the sooner shipping is decarbonised, the better. K Line is aiming for the commercial introduction of its ammonia-fueled large bulker by 2026.