Japanese duo wins DNV’s nod for ammonia-fuelled ship design

Classification society DNV has awarded approval in principle (AiP) to ammonia-fuelled ship design developed by Japanese companies Sumitomo Corporation and Oshima Shipbuilding.


The AiP confirms that the vessel design of a Kamsarmax bulk carrier meets the technical requirements and safety standards following a Hazard Identification Study on the associated risks of using ammonia as a fuel. 

Credit: DNV

With a length overall of 229 meters and a beam of 32.26 meters, the ship will have a deadweight tonnage of 80,000–81,000 MT.

The award comes as a result of a collaboration agreement Sumitomo Corporation and Oshima Shipbuilding signed in December 2021.

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Sumitomo designed and developed the bulk carrier, while also improving the navigation environment. Furthermore, the company will ensure the supply of ammonia as fuel, in cooperation with Oshima Shipbuilding and other external partners as well as with the involvement of the internal cross-organizational project team for ammonia.

“DNV is pioneering the research and development of viable future marine fuels and is delighted to be a part of this innovative project. We will continue cooperating with forward-leaning maritime industry leaders in their efforts to bring low-carbon ship designs to life, safely and sustainably,” Stian Erik Sollied, Country Manager of DNV Japan Maritime, said.

“Sumitomo Corporation and Oshima Shipbuilding are accelerating the development and promotion of ammonia-fuelled ships. We will continue improving the operational environment, including the supply of ammonia fuel through internal and external collaboration, and aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the entire supply chain,” Takanaru Toyota, General Manager, Ship & Marine Project Dept. of Sumitomo Corporation, stated.

“An ammonia fuel ship is a powerful forward-thinking solution to decarbonizing the maritime industry. Oshima Shipbuilding, alongside Sumitomo Corporation, DNV and other stakeholders, will endeavour to optimize these designs further,” Eiichi Hiraga, President of Oshima Shipbuilding, added.

After the completion of the bulk carrier, Sumitomo Corporation will own and operate it, thereby helping users of the ship’s transportation service to reduce their GHG emissions across their supply chains.

To meet the international Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) net-zero tagrets, the companies in the maritime industry are required to replace the fuels for their ships with ammonia, hydrogen and other substitutes with low environmental impact, and to introduce equipment that will help them reduce their GHG emissions.

As ammonia can be liquefied more easily than hydrogen, the substance is attracting much attention as a substitute fuel for ocean-going ships that navigate a long distance at one time.

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