MSC eyes ammonia dual-fuel containership

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ammonia dual-fuel containership MOU signatories

The MoU was signed at MSC’s office in Sorento, Italy, with (from left to right) Niels B. Clausen – Senior Manager, Engine & System Application MAN ES, Giuseppe Gargiulo – Head of Newbuilding, MSC, Nick Brown - CEO, LR. Representatives of SDARI attended remotely.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would give it the option of adopting ammonia as a zero-carbon main propulsion fuel for future newbuilding contracts. The other signatories to the ammonia dual-fuel containership MOU are Lloyd’s Register (LR), Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and MAN Energy Solutions.

Under the MOU, a technical specification and associated design documents will be developed for a variant of SDARI’s twin island 8,200 TEU containership design for a vessel contracted to LR class by MSC. As part of the project, SDARI will prepare the specification and design documentation of the ammonia dual-fuel variant, while LR will verify that the design conforms with safety standards and rules relating to the usage of ammonia as a marine fuel. MAN-ES will deliver data for the engine design and ammonia fuel supply and emission abatement systems.

Increasingly seen as one of the most promising alternative fuels to support the maritime energy transition, ammonia emits no CO2 when burned, and its stability and comparatively reasonable energy-to-volume ratio creates opportunities for long-distance transportation. On the other hand, ammonia is toxic to humans and corrosive, so it’s no easy “drop in fuel.”

“LR is delighted to join this landmark project with MSC, SDARI and MAN Energy Systems for MSC’s new ammonia dual fuel containership design,” said Lloyd’s Register CEO Nick Brown. “The application of ammonia as a marine fuel for the containership sector will be crucial for our industry to achieve the emission reduction targets set by the IMO and this cross-supply chain collaboration marks a vital step in the maritime industry’s energy transition.”

“Proactive collaboration between ship operators, ship designers, class and engine makers has never been so important,” said Giuseppe Gargiulo, head of newbuilding at MSC. “MSC is pleased to enter in this project to evaluate if Zero Carbon Fuels like Ammonia can be safely adopted and the impact they will have on vessel operation.”

Wang Gangyi, CTO of SDARI, said: “Under this MOU, we will produce the technical solution for an ammonia dual fuel variant of our 8,200 TEU containership design for MSC, a world-leading shipping company. Projects like this are vital for helping us evaluate the risks and opportunities of using ammonia for propulsion and for sharing these learnings across the maritime supply chain.”

Bjarne Foldager, head of two-stroke, MAN Energy Solutions said: “In order to meet the decarbonization objectives of our industry on time, we need to look closely at all fuel solutions. Being part of this MoU with MSC, SDARI and LR aligns with our strategic purpose, to provide decarbonization solutions for our trusted partners and it solidifies the industry commitment to reduce emissions.”

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