NYK Line, Japan Marine United (JMU) and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) have signed a joint R&D agreement for both an ammonia-fuelled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) and an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).
In a statement issued today (12 August), NYK Line said: ‘Ammonia is expected to be used as an alternative fuel for vessels. As demand for ammonia fuel is foreseen to expand, the need for a transportation infrastructure for stable supply is expected to increase. Thus, the companies have decided to start this joint R&D of AFAGC and A-FSRB.’
NYK added that use of ammonia as a marine fuel ‘will contribute to the early realisation of zero emissions for oceangoing vessels’.
The barge segment of the R&D effort may be of particular interest to the bunker industry, given that it opens up new possibilities for supplying and storing ammonia as a fuel to other ships.
‘In this joint R&D project,’ said the NYK Line statement, ‘we will be engaged in the R&D of a barge that is equipped with a floating storage and regasification facility exclusively for ammonia for the first time in the world.
‘This project is expected to contribute to the early introduction of ammonia fuel by utilising the barge as an alternative to land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.) for the stable supply of ammonia fuel.’
NYK Line added: “This joint R&D aims not only to utilise ammonia as a marine fuel but also to establish methods for the mass transportation and supply of ammonia and to become a solution for introducing a mixed combustion of ammonia into coal-fired power stations operated by Japanese electric power companies.
“As a result, the R&D is expected to contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of not only the maritime industry but also the energy industry.”