ABS Partners Up with MAN, SDARI on Ammonia-Fueled Feeder Ship

Classification society ABS has joined forces with MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) to develop an ammonia-fueled feeder vessel.

The parties signed a joint development project (JDP) at a ceremony held at Marintec China in Shanghai.

As explained, the project aims to produce designs for an ammonia-fueled Chittagongmax container carrier of 2,700 TEU capacity.

“Ammonia is an energy source with significant potential to help the industry meet IMO 2030 and 2050 emission targets but will require stringent new safety standards to be developed in order to support its adoption,” Xiaozhi (Christina) Wang, ABS Vice President, Global Marine, said.

Specifically, SDARI will develop ship design and engineering which will utilize MAN’s dual-fuel technology and ABS will assess safety-related issues and contribute to the development of rules and standards in relation to ammonia as a fuel.

Conceptual design development is the initial phase of the JDP, with the second phase moving to engagement with owners to develop designs tailored to their specific operational requirements.

“(L)ow-speed marine engines are already the most efficient propulsion system for trans-oceanic shipping, making them the de-facto, standard powertrain for commercial vessels. Ammonia can be seen as a potential future energy-carrier of renewable primary-energy sources such as wind, hydro or solar,” Bjarne Foldager, Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, commented.

Ammonia, when generated by renewable energy sources, has no carbon footprint and emits almost no CO2, SOx or particulate matter when burned in engines.

ABS in New Battery Research Agreement

ABS has also joined a new lithium battery propulsion research project for next-generation vessels.

In a separate statement, the company said it signed a frame cooperation agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL). The agreement, signed also at Marintec, will see ABS and CATL jointly carry out the research on the technical standards for battery-powered vessels, including key safety-related technologies such as the propulsion system, charging system, power battery compartment layout and fire control.

The project also covers research into the technical standards of lithium batteries, including various battery material properties and combustion mechanisms as well as the performance of safety system, such as monitoring and early warning of thermal diffusion. The work will support revision of the classification of lithium battery inspection guidelines and drive improvements in the standard system for lithium batteries for ships.

“ABS and CATL are at the forefront of exploring how to harness the potential of these new battery technologies to power ocean going vessels,” Wang explained.

“Battery technology can certainly contribute to fuel savings and therefore GHG emissions reduction in a number of ways which make this an exciting area for practical research.”