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Ammonia-fueled bulker design gains ClassNK AiP

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ammonia-fueled bulker

Bulker's two ammonia fuel tanks are located on deck to maximize cruising range and make the most effective use of cargo space. [Image courtesy MOL and Mitsui]

ClassNK has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) for a large ammonia-fueled 210,000 DWT bulk carrier design jointly developed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

The vessel’s size and specifications were jointly developed by MOL and Mitsui with its design being entrusted to Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

MOL notes that the design calls for a main engine fueled by ammonia, which emits no CO2 when burned, thereby achieving zero CO2 emissions during the voyage. The vessel will also feature two ammonia fuel tanks on deck to maximize the cruising range for various routes and to make the most effective use of cargo space.

A rendering of the ship released by MOL and Mitsui indicates that it will be wind-assisted

Though ammonia does not emit CO2 when combusted, when used as a marine fuel, adequate safety measures are imperative as it is toxic to humans and corrosive to materials.

ClassNK has been involved in the safety assessment of zero-emission ship projects using ammonia as fuel and has issued its “Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels” as a necessary standard to minimize the risks ammonia presents to ships, crews, and the environment by stipulating requirements for installation, controls, and safety devices.

ClassNK carried out the review of the jointly developed ammonia-fueled bulker design in line with Part C of its guidelines and issued the AiP on verifying conformity to the prescribed requirements. In addition, risk assessment (HAZID) will be conducted to confirm that no unacceptable risks exist at the basic design stage and to identify items to be considered in the detailed design.

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