Japanese companies complete ammonia bunkering vessel study

Written by Nick Blenkey
Rendering of ammonia bunkering vessel

Neither Mitsubishi Shipbuilding nor Inpex say much about the size of the concept ammonia bunkering vessel.

There’s growing interest in ammonia as a marine fuel and ammonia-fueled vessels will need to be served by specialized bunkering vessels. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group company based in Yokohama, has been working on that and recently completed a conceptual study for an ammonia bunkering vessel.

The study was completed in cooperation with Inpex Corporation. While Inpex is Japan’s largest oil and gas production company it is heavily committed to adding clean energy sources to its mix and says the bunkering vessel study is an important step in realizing its goal of commercializing three or more hydrogen/ammonia projects and producing and supplying 100 thousand tons or more of hydrogen/ammonia per year in around 2030.

Neither Mitsubishi Shipbuilding nor Inpex say much about the size of the vessel.

Inpex says it is “a highly versatile ammonia bunkering vessel with sufficient tank capacity and maneuverability as well as infrastructure compatible with a variety of ammonia-powered vessel types, fully leveraging Inpex’s knowledge of liquefied natural gas transportation, cargo handling operations and ship/shore compatibility.”

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding says it has “made use of its ample knowledge of the design and production of multi-purpose liquefied gas carriers, which are capable of transporting ammonia, in furthering conceptual considerations for a highly flexible ammonia bunkering vessel having enough tank capacity, ship maneuverability, and bunkering equipment that ensures compatibility with various ammonia-fueled vessels expected to be served.”

The shipbuilder says that, based on the knowledge and technical tasks accomplished in the study, it will carry out further technical investigations and will set its sights on the commercialization of the ammonia bunkering vessel.

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