Samsung Heavy supersizes ammonia carrier designs with 200,000 cu m vessel

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has developed a 200,000 cu m ammonia carrier. The new design, unveiled at this year’s Gastech event in Singapore, has been granted approval in principle by compatriot class society Korean Register.

The ship has been designed to carry large quantities of ammonia, using its cargo as fuel, and to have zero carbon dioxide emissions during operation.

Ammonia has been gaining traction as one of the potential zero-carbon options for shipping, but further research and development will be needed to address certain challenges, such as its corrosive properties towards metals and toxicity.

SHI has additionally devised systems for fuel supply, ventilation, and gas monitoring tailored to the ammonia fuel system and completed the basic design to meet KR classification rules, ensuring the safety of the enlarged tank and hull.

The company is also in the advanced stages of developing an ammonia-fuelled very large crude carrier in partnership with Malaysia’s flagship line, MISC and engine maker MAN Energy Solutions. Meanwhile, at Gastech, the shipbuilder penned an agreement with Swiss marine power company WinGD for ammonia-fuelled engines across a range of vessel designs, including ammonia carriers.

Earlier this year, Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping ordered very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) at China’s Jiangnan Shipbuilding, each with a capacity of 93,000 cu m. As recently announced, the ships will also be powered by ammonia and be among the largest gas carriers in operation when delivered in 2026.

Commenting on the development of the ultra-large ammonia carrier, Jang Haeki, executive vice president of SHI engineering operations, said: “Clean ammonia is an environmentally friendly energy source and is expected to play a significant role in energy transportation in the future hydrogen society. Ultra-large ammonia carriers will also be in demand in the future to handle the increasing volume of cargo. This approval of the ultra-large ammonia ship with ammonia fuel system enables rapid commercialisation, and we will continue to make our efforts to develop green technologies to lead the next-generation ship market.”

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