MOL, ITOCHU get ABS AIP for ammonia bunkering vessel

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot general trading firm ITOCHU Corporation have acquired approval in principle (AIP) from classification society ABS for an ammonia bunkering vessel.

Photo: MOL

The project is part of a joint development study on the ammonia fuel supply chain in Singapore.

MOL, which has already acquired experience and knowledge of LNG bunkering vessels, will play a leading role in this project together with its partners in the LNG bunkering business in Singapore — TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and Pavilion Energy Singapore.

MOL and ITOCHU jointly designed the ammonia bunkering vessel in cooperation with Sembcorp Marine Integrated Yard and after conducting a risk assessment with the partners in Singapore, applied for and received the AIP.

Image Courtesy: MOL

Specifically, the vessel’s design incorporates extensive safety measures in consideration of ammonia’s toxicity. Marine engine manufacturers around the world are working to develop an ammonia-fueled engine. Delivery of the first ammonia-fueled vessel is expected in the late 2020s at the earliest.

The ammonia bunkering vessel will supply these next-generation-fueled vessels. Ammonia is in the spotlight as a promising next-generation clean energy source that produces no carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion.

MOL is working to develop ammonia-fueled vessels and create an ammonia transport business, in the hopes of launching net-zero emission ocean-going vessels during the current decade and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, as stated in the MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1.

At the same time, the company aims to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions not only in its group business but also in society through initiatives such as the development of an ammonia fuel bunkering vessel that supplies ammonia fuel to other vessels and establishing an ammonia supply chain.

In November 2021, MOL joined forces with Namura Shipbuilding and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to develop a large-size ammonia carrier powered by ammonia fuel.

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The company also teamed up with Mitsui E&S Machinery and German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions to target a purchase contract for the ammonia-fuelled main engine for ships.

The jointly developed large-size ammonia carrier will adopt an ammonia-fueled main engine to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from MOL-operated vessels.