K Line sets sights on delivery of ammonia-powered bulker in 2026

ammonia-powered bulker
Image courtesy K Line

Japanese shipping company K Line has secured approval in principle from ClassNK for the design of its ammonia-fueled bulk carrier, paving the way for the company to take delivery of the vessel in 2026.

The 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carrier design is being developed by K Line in cooperation with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Mitsui E&S Machinery Co., and NS United Kaiun Kaisha.

The companies won funding for the project under the “Green Innovation Fund Project / Development Project for Next-Generation Ships / Development of Ammonia-Fueled Ships“ last year. The green innovation fund was announced by Japan’s largest public management organization New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Another demonstration project is being supported by NEDO and it involves the construction of a liquified CO2 transportation vessel.

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 “At this time, there are no international guidelines for the use of ammonia as marine fuel, so K Line and partners are looking toward obtaining Alternative Design Approval for the shipbuilding of the vessel. A risk assessment (Hazard Identification Study – “HAZID”) was recently conducted on the safety of using ammonia as marine fuel, and the basic design of the Vessel was evaluated as ‘capable of ensuring the same level of safety as ships operating with existing fuel’,” K Line said.

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The Japanese shipping major described the acquisition of the AiP as an important milestone for the implementation of ammonia-fueled ships, and also an important step toward the further promotion of the “Integrated Project” being facilitated by ITOCHU Corporation.

Image credit K Line

K Line and partners plan to proceed with the development of the vessel based on the basic design for which the AiP has been obtained, and aim to take delivery of the Newcastlemax bulker and begin its social implementation in 2026.

As disclosed earlier, Mitsui E&S Machinery’s role within the project will be to develop an ammonia fuel tank & fuel supply system; develop technology related to the ammonia-fueled engine; develop safety features specific to ammonia-fueled ship, and carry out a demonstration related to ammonia-fueled engine & supply system.

Nihon Shipyard will be in charge of developing a hull equipped with ammonia fuel tanks; an ammonia fuel handling system onboard; safety systems onboard, and verification of research and development through shipboard demonstration.

Finally, K Line, ITOCHU Corporation and NS United Kaiun will conduct an operational demonstration of the ammonia-fueled ship.

Japanese shipping company K Line wants to have zero-emission vessels by 2030.

In November last year, the company revised the K Line Environmental Vision 2050, its long-term policy on environmental measures, replacing the goal of halving emissions by 2050 with the aim of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

As part of this strategy, K Line decided to build eight new LNG-fueled car carriers in addition to the one that had already joined the company’s fleet, and order one LNG-fueled Capesize bulk carrier and one LPG-fueled LPG carrier.

Furthermore, K Line is working on the development of an ammonia-powered car carrier design for which it has also secured an AiP.

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