Trio start R&D for use of ammonia as marine fuel

Trio start R&D for use of ammonia as marine fuel
Image of AFAGC.

NYK Line, Japan Marine United Corporation, and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) have signed a joint R&D agreement for the commercialisation of an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC). The vessel would use ammonia as the main fuel, in addition to an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).

As carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it could be a promising fuel to help reduce shipping’s emissions. It is also anticipated that zero emissions could be realised by utilising CO2-free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia.

As demand for ammonia fuel is foreseen to expand, the need for a transportation infrastructure for stable supply is expected to increase.

Large-scale marine transportation of ammonia is currently carried out by multi-purpose liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels. In this project, the companies will be engaged in the R&D of a liquefied ammonia gas carrier barge that is equipped with a floating storage and regasification facility exclusively for ammonia. This project is expected to contribute to the early introduction of ammonia fuel by utilising the barge as an alternative to land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.) for the stable supply of ammonia fuel.

The three companies will each play a role in developing the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.

This joint R&D aims not only to utilise ammonia as a marine fuel but also to establish methods for the mass transportation and supply of ammonia and to become a solution for introducing a mixed combustion of ammonia into coal-fired power stations operated by Japanese electric power companies.

As a result, the R&D is expected to contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of not only the maritime industry but also the energy industry.