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ABS has told Bunkerspot that it has classed a Suezmax tanker ordered by Avin International that is set to be ‘the first ammonia-fuel ready vessel in the world’.

The 274-metre-long vessel (hull number 0315852) is under construction at New Times Shipbuilding Co., Ltd (NTS), and there are options for two further vessels.

Currently conventionally fuelled, the vessel complies with the ABS Ammonia Ready Level 1 requirements, which means it is designed to be converted to run on ammonia in the future. All the ships in the project will also meet ABS LNG Fuel Ready Level 1 requirements.

Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology, commented: ‘It is a challenging time for shipowners looking to invest in modern vessels able to support fleet decarbonisation objectives throughout their life span. ABS’ alternative fuel ready suite of guidance and qualification programs is designed to give owners the flexibility they need and help prepare for a future in which alternative fuels such as ammonia take a bigger role.

Ryan continued: ‘Ammonia is a promising zero-carbon fuel that can help meet the IMO’s GHG reduction target for 2050. It offers shipowners and operators a zero-carbon tank-to-wake emissions profile but is not without challenges, not the least of which is the greater prescriptive requirements for containment and equipment than most of the other alternative fuels under consideration. ABS is leading the way in supporting the industry in development and application of ammonia as a marine fuel.

Michael Androulakakis, Technical Manager of Avin International, added: ‘The shipowners, seeking early decarbonisation of their fleet, which LNG fuel operations alone are not enough to fully achieve, have additionally invested in making the vessels ready for ammonia fuel. This currently appears to be one of the most widely available and most promising carbon neutral fuels for the future.’

Chen Yajun, Sales Manager of NTS, said that ‘ammonia ready’ is a key selling point for the shipyard’s new generation, and predicted that: ‘In the future, more and more shipowners will request clean energy, and ammonia is undoubtedly the best choice.’

As previously reported, ABS has published a white paper on ammonia as a marine fuel, which can be downloaded here.

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