Hanwha Ocean unveils world’s 1st carbon emission-free LNG carrier

South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean, formerly known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., has received clearance for key innovations that are at the heart of what is believed to be the world’s first carbon emission-free LNG carrier.

Image credit ABS

Specifically, the shipyard has received approval in principle (AIP) from ABS for its design of a liquified natural gas (LNG) carrier equipped with an ammonia-fueled gas turbine.

ABS also issued an AIP to Hanwha Power Systems for its supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power system. Efficiency improvements are reported as a result of using sCO2 as a working fluid in the turbine.

The 174,000 cbm vessel, described as the world’s first carbon emission-free LNG carrier, can use ammonia and natural gas separately or simultaneously as fuel. If only ammonia is used as fuel, no carbon gas is emitted.

The design, which is smaller than a diesel engine, also incorporates Hanwha Power Systems’ exhaust gas waste heat recovery system (sCO2 Power System). Hanwha Ocean also says the system meets the nitrogen oxide (NOx) requirement without selective catalytic reduction (SCR) regardless of fuel and has significantly reduced methane slip.

“Carbon neutrality is a ‘challenge to be overcome’ and an ‘opportunity to leap’ for shipyards. With this AIP, we will lead the competition for carbon-free ships,” a spokesperson from Hanwha Ocean said.

“With a global focus on decarbonization, this vessel design represents a big step forward in the shipping industry’s ambitions for zero-carbon cargo transport. ABS is proud to be able to support it and use our deep decarbonization expertise to advance a more sustainable industry,” said Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability.

Innovations around ammonia as marine fuel have been the main buzz over the past few days as a plethora of approvals have been issued by classification societies at this year’s Gastech exhibition and conference.

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ABS issued an approval in principle (AIP) to HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for their ammonia reductant supply system for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in ammonia-fueled ships. Representatives from both companies and the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) met at Gastech 2023 for the AIP presentation.

Image credit ABS

The system utilizes the ammonia carried on board as the SCR reductant to remove NOx from emissions as opposed to the urea used in traditional diesel propulsion.

In addition, the AIP includes a plan to safely treat toxic ammonia gas generated during operation, including a configuration that can use ammonia Boil-Off Gas (BOG) and purge gas generated from an ammonia fuel supply system as an SCR reductant.

“After the 80th MEPC, there is a lot of interest in zero-emission ships that use ammonia as fuel. We are pleased to have received the world’s first approval in principle (AIP) from ABS and LISCR for our technology, which aims to improve the safety of ammonia-fueled ships and reduce the operating costs for shipowners. We will continue to develop ammonia-fueled ships that are the best for our customers and look forward to working with ABS and LISCR,” said Sung-Joon Kim, Senior Executive Vice President and CTO at HD KSOE.

“Considering the recent tightening of environmental regulations, ammonia is expected to become a mainstream alternative fuel in the future. Accordingly, the development of ammonia-related technology will be actively developed, and HHI and KSOE are also working on the development of ammonia-related technology. The newly developed ammonia-reducing agent supply system is one of the results of these technological development efforts and is expected to contribute to the efficient operation of ammonia carriers,” said Seung-Ho Jeon, Senior Executive Vice President and CTO at HD HHI.