On 6 August, NYK Line, Japan Marine United Corporation, and ClassNK signed a joint R&D agreement for a dedicated floating storage and regasification barge for ammonia. The agreement also covered the commercialisation of an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier design.
The project participants expect ammonia to become used as an alternative fuel for vessels, as it does not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion. One of the drivers of the project was increasing interest in ammonia as a feedstock for energy generation in Japan.
The concept of generating power from ammonia has been demonstrated: parties in Japan have successfully generated electricity from gas turbines operating on 100% ammonia feedstock. Research into partially substituting coal with ammonia (co-generation) at coal-fired power stations was continuing, as this would lower CO2 emissions from power generation.
As demand for ammonia fuel is foreseen to expand, the need for a transportation infrastructure for stable supply is expected to increase.
Ammonia bunker vessel
As part of the joint R&D project, the project participants will conduct R&D into an ammonia floating storage and regasification facility fitted to a dedicated barge. By utilizing the barge as an alternative to land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.), the participants claim the project will accelerate the early introduction of ammonia as a fuel by providing a stable supply of ammonia fuel.
Ammonia-fuelled gas carrier
The project included large-scale marine transportation of ammonia. This is currently carried out by multi-purpose LPG vessels. In this project, we will be engaged in the R&D of a liquefied ammonia gas carrier. The liquefied ammonia gas carrier will also feature a dual-fuel ammonia engine that will primarily operate on ammonia.
The three companies expect that, by using ammonia from the cargo as a marine fuel, the project will help to achieve zero emissions from oceangoing vessels.