SHI’s 200K cbm ultra-large ammonia carrier wins KR’s clearance

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has received Approval in Principle (AiP) for a 200K cbm ultra-large ammonia carrier fuelled by ammonia.

Image credit KR

The AIP was awarded by Korean Register at Gastech 2023 currently underway in Singapore following a joint development project (JDP) between KR and SHI.

The carrier is a green ship designed to carry large quantities of ammonia, using the cargo as fuel, and has zero carbon dioxide emissions during operation.

Ammonia, known for its distinctive odor that aids quick leak detection is also relatively lightweight, allowing effective control of leaking gases. It also offers the benefit of low explosive properties. However, it presents certain challenges such as corrosive properties towards metals and toxicity, necessitating meticulous safety-focused design considerations.

In this project, SHI carried out the conceptual design of the fuel system and the basic design of the vessel, taking into account ammonia’s unique characteristics. Additionally, SHI devised systems for fuel supply, ventilation, and gas monitoring tailored to the ammonia fuel system. The basic design was completed to meet classification rules to ensure the safety of the enlarged tank and hull.

KR verified the safety of the ammonia fuel system and supported the optimization of the tank and hull structure. The classification society also verified the design suitability of the ultra-large ammonia carrier by thoroughly reviewing domestic and international regulations.

“Clean ammonia is an environmentally friendly energy source and is expected to play a significant role in energy transportation in the future hydrogen society. Ultra-large ammonia carriers will also be in demand in the future to handle the increasing volume of cargo. This approval of the ultra-large ammonia ship with ammonia fuel system enables rapid commercialization, and we will continue to make our efforts to develop green technologies to lead the next-generation ship market,” JANG Haeki, Executive Vice President(CTO) of SHI Engineering Operations, said.

“Through this project, the two companies have laid an important foundation for the commercialization of ultra-large ammonia ships. KR will continue to provide outstanding technical support for the development of green ships in cooperation with various stakeholders in the shipping industry,” KIM Yeontae, Executive Vice President of KR Technical Division, said.

Ammonia is emerging as a crucial player in the decarbonization of the maritime industry. Its importance lies in its potential to serve as a clean and sustainable fuel for ships, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Unlike conventional marine fuels such as heavy oil, ammonia produces zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when burned. Moreover, it can be produced using renewable energy sources, like wind or solar power, making it a versatile and eco-friendly energy carrier.