With Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. as its co-investor in the first four ships, Maersk Tankers has ordered up to ten 93,000 cubic meter capacity very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in Korea. The vessels will be ABS classed.
Clean hydrogen and its derivative, clean ammonia, are poised to become vital commodities during the transition to clean energy, says Maersk Tankers. With many of the clean ammonia projects under development in the world requiring seaborne transportation, the market is looking for energy efficient and safe solutions to meet growing ammonia transportation needs.
“Concrete actions are needed for the tanker industry to progress the energy transition, and in Maersk Tankers, we want to play our part in making transportation of clean energy a reality,” said Maersk Tankers CEO, Tina Revsbech. “We are building on our legacy of operating gas carriers to offer a crucial transportation service that will aid the transition. With this initiative, we will be able to service clean ammonia producers and users in many parts of the world with highly energy efficient and safe ships.”
At 93,000 cubic meters capacity, they will be among the largest ammonia carriers in operation, capable of carrying a full cargo of ammonia. (The four VLACs ordered back in September by Capital Gas Ship Management Corp. and Eastern Pacific Shipping will each have a capacity of 88,000 cubic meters)
The first four firm VLACs ordered by Maersk Tankers are due to be delivered from late 2026 onwards, and the contract includes options for an additional six vessels.
Maersk Tankers is working with MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine Machine Division (EMD) to make the vessels capable of operating on clean ammonia. However, it says, a decision to install ammonia capable engines will require both regulatory and customer support.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this initiative with our partner, Maersk Tankers.” said Kensuke Kubota, general manager of the marine solution business division at Mitsui & Co. Ltd. “Mitsui will leverage its expertise and experience in the shipping industry as well as in energy and chemicals to accelerate the transportation of ammonia which we see as one of the promising options for sources of next generation energy. Through this project and other initiatives, Mitsui will contribute to the realization of a carbon neutral society.”