SHI wins green light for ammonia-ready VLGC design

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has secured approval in principle from the compatriot classification society Korean Register (KR) for the design of an ammonia-fuel ready very large gas carrier (VLGC).

The VLGC will be capable of using ammonia as a fuel as well as carrying it as bulk cargo.

The design, jointly developed by SHI and KR, maintains the actual yield stress of the ammonia tank steel below KR’s Rule requirements and is able to maintain a temperature close to the boiling point. 

“We are committed to supporting the responsible use of ammonia in a sustainable energy economy: ammonia is an important green energy source and is expected to account for a significant proportion of future ship fuel demand,” Kyu-jin Yeon, Head of KR’s Plan Approval Center said, announcing the design approval at Gastech 2022 in Milan.

However, whilst the shipping industry has significant experience of carrying ammonia as a bulk cargo, using it as a fuel brings new challenges and fuel systems must be designed, manufactured, operated and maintained in a way which ensures the safety of the ship crews, port staff and fuel suppliers. KR will continue to co-operate with SHI to develop further green technologies and become a leader in this field.”

KR AIP for SHI's NH3 carrier;
KR AIP for SHI’s NH3 carrier; Image credit: KR

“Ammonia fuel propulsion vessels are one of the best ways of meeting the IMO’s carbon neutral targets, and we plan to commercialize them with differentiated technology. Moreover, our Research Institute is spurring the development of green technologies such as carbon reduction and hydrogen transport technology,” Young-kyu Ahn, Head of SHI’s Shipbuilding Sales Engineering Team said.

The new design is the largest ammonia-ready vessel to have been approved by KR. The classification society also recently approved designs for a 60,000m3 ammonia-fueled ammonia carrier and a 38,000m3 ammonia carrier/bunkering vessel.

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KR is developing its guidance for ammonia-fueled ships, and it is taking part in the Green Ammonia Marine Transport and Bunkering Consortium.   

According to the 2050 Carbon Roadmap report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), ammonia is expected to account for 45% of ship fuel demand in 2050.