Japanese companies team up to develop ammonia-fuelled ships

by 27, Oct, 2021Innovation, Maritime 4.00 comments


An ammonia-fuelled tugboat

NYK Line, Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems, and Nihon have been approved by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to participate in a demonstration project that will see the commercialisation of vessels equipped with a domestically produced ammonia-fuelled engine.

The demonstration project forms part of the Green Innovation Fund project, a 2 trillion yen fund created in NEDO to significantly accelerate efforts in energy transformation.

The project, which is scheduled to begin in December with ClassNK, aims to use ammonia as fuel to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during voyages and thus introduce an ammonia-fuelled vessel for the good of society earlier than 2030. The four companies and ClassNK will eventually work toward the goal of achieving zero emissions from ships in the future.

NEDO has approved the following demonstration projects:

  1. The development and operation of an ammonia-fuelled tugboat (A-Tug, pictured)

The ammonia fuel will have a flame retardant bottleneck, which is difficult to ignite, so this project assumes that a small amount of fuel oil will be used as pilot fuel. Targeting the delivery of A-Tug in FY2024, the companies aim to reduce GHG emissions by achieving an ammonia fuel mixed combustion rate of 80 per cent or higher.

The companies will confirm safe operation in demonstrations aimed to improve the mixed combustion rate with a view to achieving zero GHG emissions by using biofuel as a pilot fuel in the future.

  1. The development and operation of an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC)

Targeting the ship’s delivery in FY2026, the companies will develop and operate an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) with the concept of transporting ammonia as cargo and using the cargo and ammonia gas vaporised from the cargo as fuel during the voyage.

The companies aim to reduce GHG emissions by achieving a maximum ammonia fuel mixed combustion rate of 95 per cent for the main engine that moves the ship, and an ammonia fuel mixed combustion rate of 80 per cent or more for the auxiliary engine that runs the generator.

Source