NYK Line

NYK Exploring Ammonia as Carbon Neutral Marine Fuel

Japanese shipping major NYK is looking into using ammonia as marine fuel for zero-emission ships as part of the industry’s decarbonization drive.

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Speaking at a Green Ammonia Consortium last week, the company said it was part of a consortium exploring the maritime transport of ammonia as a power generation fuel used by electric power companies and the use of ammonia as marine fuel.

Japan’s Green Ammonia Consortium was established in April 2019 to build a value chain from supply to use of CO2-free ammonia.

Ammonia has been identified as one of the potential fuels of the future such as bio-diesel, methane, hydrogen, and methanol that are carbon neutral.

Industry players believe ammonia has a high probability of being commercialized.

According to Korean Register, it is environmentally viable and in relation to other fuel options, does not require a high level of technical expertise when used as renewable energy.

Several projects are underway exploring the viability of ammonia as marine fuel.

Most recently, Malaysia’s shipping group MISC Berhad, South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), UK’s classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Germany’s engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions teamed up on a development project (JDP) for an ammonia-fueled tanker.

As explained, the creation of the alliance has been motivated by the partners’ shared belief that the maritime industry needs leadership and greater collaboration if shipping is to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s 2050 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission target.

Furthermore, LR granted Approval in Principle to Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. (DSIC), and MAN Energy Solutions for an ammonia-fuelled 23,000 TEU Ultra-Large Container Ship (ULCS) concept design back in December last year.

The concept is said to be the first ammonia as fuel design of its kind in China, and it is viewed as the first step in exploring and testing low carbon alternatives such as ammonia.