ABS green-lights COSCO’s ammonia-fueled vessel design

COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Co
Image courtesy: COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry

COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Co. and COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Technology have won two approvals in principle from ABS classification society for their ammonia-fueled vessel and ammonia supply system designs which are being trialed on a tugboat.

Given the challenging characteristics of ammonia, ABS conducted a comprehensive review and risk assessment focused on ammonia filling, storage, supply, ventilation and emergency handling in the AIP process to address the safety and reliability of the systems.

“These are exciting developments for COSCO Shipping and China shipbuilding to show leadership in the decarbonization of our industry. Ammonia offers ship owners and operators a zero-carbon, tank-to-wake emissions profile. Yet, we also recognize that ammonia presents a specific set of safety and technology challenges, and ABS is committed to leading the industry in supporting its safe adoption at sea,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability.

“This is the first comprehensive technology research project in China focusing on ammonia burning, ammonia-diesel, dual-fuel engine, ammonia fuel supply system, exhaust gas treatment and onboard application demonstration, which is of great significance and has far-reaching impact. In the future, we will continue to pioneer innovation, with the development of green, low-carbon and smart shipping,” said Ji-Jiang Jiang, COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry General Manager.

The tugboat is designed to be 36 meters in length with a towing capacity of up to 60 tons. The ammonia supply system will be part of the vessel, providing ammonia for propulsion.

There are several ammonia-powered vessel designs developed by Chinese shipbuilders that have secured approvals from relevant classification societies.

Some of those include approval from Lloyd’s Register to Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) for the country’s first Newcastlemax bulk carrier concept powered by ammonia as well as ammonia-fueled 7,000 CEU PCTC design developed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) which secured approval from DNV.

Most recently, Chinese shipbuilder Nantong COSCO Khi Ship Engineering (NACKS) secured approval in principle for its ammonia-powered containership design from LR.

The 16,000 TEU ammonia-fueled container ship has been jointly developed by LR, NACKS, and Hudong Heavy Machinery.

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