Ship design for NoGAPS ammonia-fueled gas carrier comes to light

Nordic Green Ammonia Powered Ships (NoGAPS) project consortium has revealed the initial ship design for the ammonia-fueled gas carrier M/S NoGAPS.

Courtesy of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

The NoGAPS project brings together key players in the value chain, including Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMMCZCS), Nordic Innovation, Global Maritime Forum, BW Epic Kosan Ltd., Yara International, MAN Energy Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine, DNV, Danish Maritime Authority and the external ship designer Breeze Ship Design.

The aim of the project is to develop solutions for an ammonia-powered, zero-emission ship in two phases. The first phase ran from 2020 to 2021 when the project developed a proof of concept on how the barriers to the adoption of ammonia as a zero-emission maritime fuel can be overcome, focusing on safety and efficiency, sustainable and steady fuel supply chains, as well as commercial viability.

The second phase of the NoGAPS project kicked off last year with the design contract awarded to Breeze and it will run until 2025. This phase involves producing an initial ship design that will lay the foundation for a shipyard tender and the potential construction of the vessel optimized for commercial operation in the North Atlantic and northwestern European waters.

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The zero carbon shipping centre, which is leading the vessel design work NoGAPS phase 2, has now revealed the initial ship design along with the finding of the feasibility assessment which identifies and evaluates ship design concepts that can achieve the design objectives and requirements.

Courtesy of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

Findings of the feasibility assessment

The feasibility assessment for the ship design concept for the handy-sized ammonia-fueled gas carrier with 22,000 cbm cargo capacity builds on the findings of the project’s first phase.

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In addition to using DNV Rules and the IGC Code as the regulatory basis for the project, the study incorporated challenges, hazards, and opportunities of using ammonia as fuel that should be considered during the ship design process, including the properties of ammonia and their effects on human health and the environment, flammability, explosiveness, and corrosion.

Two main machinery configurations were also assessed as part of the feasibility phase – an ammonia-electric propulsion system with four-stroke (4S) main engines and an ammonia-mechanical solution with a two-stroke (2S) main engine. The consortium opted for the 2S option, driven by the lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions for this option.

Furthermore, other design aspects were evaluated, including fuel tank location and dimensioning, bunkering capability, and ship stability. It was concluded that further studies on the vessel’s bunkering capability, including installing a bow thruster, are needed as it presents a flexible option for the vessel’s owner. Also, the main engine will be the only ammonia consumer with auxiliary engines and boiler, if needed, being fueled by conventional or biofuels, MMMCZCS explains.

The project has now entered the initial design phase to incorporate the key decisions and outcomes from the feasibility phase and increase the level of detail and analysis. This includes kicking off the initial design development, a hazard identification (HAZID) qualitative risk assessment workshop, optimization of vessel efficiency, submission of design drawings and documentation to target an approval in principle from DNV, and, finally, an initial design package that can be used for submission to shipyards for official tenders.

MMMCZCS noted that ammonia-fueled engines, ammonia fuel supply systems, and emission abatement technologies are still in the early development stages. For the NoGAPS project, the design assumptions related to fuel consumption, pilot fuel amount and other performance-related values are to be considered expected or target values.