ABS approves SHI’s ammonia-fueled Neo-Panamax containership design

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has received approval in principle (AIP) from the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for its design of an ammonia-fueled Neo-Panamax container vessel.

The approval was presented at the Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition.

It confirms the design has been reviewed by ABS against the requirements outlined in the ABS Guide for Ammonia Fueled Vessels.

According to Patrick Ryan, ABS’ senior vice president, Global Engineering and Technology, this ammonia-fueled vessel represents a significant step forward in the industry’s desire to realize the emissions reduction potential of ammonia as fuel.

“Ammonia-fueled propulsion ships are one of the sustainable solutions that can realize the carbon-neutral goal of the shipbuilding industry”, said Young-kyu Ahn, head of Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipbuilding sales engineering team. “Samsung Heavy Industries will lead the technology by focusing on research and development capabilities.”

Seeking ways to utilise ammonia as a marine fuel, in 2021, SHI signed a joint development programme (JDP) agreement with Finnish technology group Wärtsilä.

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The agreement is aimed at developing ammonia-fueled vessels with 4-stroke auxiliary engines available for future newbuild projects.

At the time, the shipbuilder said that the most likely initial newbuild targets for ships utilising ammonia fuel will be container vessels and very large crude carriers, operating with 2-stroke main engines and 4-stroke Wärtsilä auxiliary engines.

Last year, SHI also secured AIP from the Norwegian classification society DNV for the basic design of ammonia fuel-ready very large crude carrier, confirming that the ship’s hull structure, fuel tank specifications and risk assessment can be readily converted for operation on ammonia.

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