RINA greenlights Fratelli Cosulich and Seatech’s ammonia-powered bunker tanker

Italian classification society RINA has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) for the design of a 21,000 cbm ammonia-fueled bunker tanker jointly developed by shipping company Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore and vessel design specialist SeaTech Solutions.

Courtesy of RINA

The AiP was issued in compliance with the process described in the “RINA Guide for Approval in Principle of Novel Technologies”. The certificate was presented to SeaTech Solutions at Sea Asia Exhibition 2023 in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

This approval represents a significant milestone for the joint development project (JDP) that started in November 2021. Less than a year later, Fratelli Cosulich signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinese shipyard Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering for the construction of the ammonia bunker tanker.

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Having obtained the AiP as the critical step of the project, all parties said they are confident that they can support Singapore’s ambition to make ammonia bunkering a reality in the region. 

Simone Manca, Marine Asia Senior Director at RINA, said: “Ammonia offers potential for the decarbonisation of the marine sector, and this AiP brings the practicality of its use as an alternative fuel a step closer. We are delighted to be able to support this innovation. RINA will continue to follow technological and regulatory developments to meet the needs and expectations of the shipping industry and to promote all possible pathways to net zero.”

Guido Cardullo, Head of Business Development at Fratelli Cosulich, commented: “Fratelli Cosulich is committed to playing a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry by facilitating the adoption of low-carbon or carbon-free alternatives fuels, such as green ammonia, which has received much attention recently due to its established production technology, distribution infrastructure, and satisfactory energy density as a marine fuel.

“Fratelli Cosulich Group, through its subsidiary company Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore, is pleased to collaborate with RINA and SeaTech in establishing a secure and dependable ammonia bunkering service in Singapore.”

Prabjot Singh Chopra, VP (Technology) SeaTech Solutions, added: “Embracing the multiple pathways to maritime decarbonisation creates new opportunities in the bunkering industry. Despite the challenges of designing an ammonia bunker vessel amidst evolving technology and regulations, we appreciate the invaluable operational insights shared by the Fratelli Cosulich team and the expert guidance provided by RINA Class. The AIP for the innovative and cost-effective design is a significant achievement in advancing the safety of ammonia bunkering in Singapore, marking a new milestone in the journey to decarbonisation.”