Work starts on first ammonia-fuelled tugboat


An artist’s impression of the world’s first ammonia-fuelled tugboat An artist’s impression of the world’s first ammonia-fuelled tugboat



NYK, IHI Power Systems and ClassNK have signed a joint research and development (R&D) agreement to put the world’s first ammonia-fuelled tugboat into practical use.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organisation set a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century.

Since CO2 is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is being considered as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realised by using CO2-free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia.

The companies have worked together previously, developing the tugboat Sakigake, which was built in 2015 as Japan’s first ship fuelled by (LNG).

This latest project will comprise the technological development of the hull, engine, and fuel supply system and development of safety navigation methods for the tugboat. After evaluating the practicality of the R&D results, the companies will devise the plan for construction.

NYK Line will be responsible for research and design of the hull and fuel supply system and verification of the operation method. IHI Power Systems will manage the research and design of the engine and scrubbers whilst ClassNK will conduct the safety assessment.

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