KR awards AIP for Korea’s 1st 8K ammonia bunkering vessel

The Korean Register (KR) has granted approval in principle (AIP) for an 8K ammonia bunkering vessel, the first of its kind in Korea.


The bunkering vessel is owned by KMS EMEC, a design engineering company.

The ship has been developed through a joint development project (JDP) between KR, KMS EMEC, and Singapore’s shipping company Navig8. It is the first 8K ammonia bunkering ship in Korea to be dual-fueled, using both marine diesel (MGO) and ammonia.

Image Courtesy: KR

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 70% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. As a result, many countries are working to commercialize carbon-free ships through the development of ammonia engines and ammonia fuel cell systems.

The Korean government is also working to support the transition to zero-carbon fueled ships through a range of R&D projects undertaken with industry stakeholders.

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Ammonia, a zero-carbon fuel is attracting worldwide attention as an eco-friendly fuel for next-generation ships. The adoption of ammonia as fuel is not technically difficult and as a result, it has a high potential for commercialization.

Working with Navig8, KMS EMEC created the first domestic conceptual design, in accordance with the MAN Energy Solution’s engine specifications. KR then completed the necessary risk assessments, design safety verification and reviewed compliance with Korean and international regulations. Navig8 contributed to the 8K ammonia bunkering vessel design development by conducting a detailed review of the commercial feasibility and operational economics of ammonia as a ship fuel, from the viewpoint of a shipping company. 

“The whole maritime industry is interested in eco-friendly alternative fuels to meet the requirements of the new environmental regulations. As a result, this JDP confirming the feasibility of 8K ammonia bunkering ships is significant,” Kim Dae-Heon, Executive Vice President of KR’s R&D Division, commented.