China Shipbuilding Entry to Ammonia-Fueled Vessels Gets Go Signal

China Shipbuilding Entry to Ammonia-Fueled Vessels Gets Go Signal

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) granted two approvals in principle (AIPs) to China’s COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. and COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Technology Co., Ltd. for their ammonia-fueled vessel as well as their ammonia supply system designs.

The said designs are being trialed on a tugboat that is fashioned to be 36 meters in length with a towing capacity of a maximum of 60 tons while the ammonia supply system will be providing ammonia for propulsion.

According to ABS, they have conducted a thorough review and risk assessment given the “challenging” characteristics of ammonia. The organization focused on ammonia filling, storage, supply, ventilation, and emergency handling in the AIP process regarding the safety and reliability of the setup.

ABS Vice President on Global Sustainability Georgios Plevrakis said the developments for COSCO Shipping and China shipbuilding will show “leadership in the decarbonization of our industry.”

He pointed out that ammonia provides a “zero-carbon, tank-to-wake emissions profile” to ship owners and operators. He, however, noted that they recognize the specific set of safety and technology challenges the use of ammonia impose.

“ABS is committed to leading the industry in supporting its safe adoption at sea,” Plevrakis assured.

Meanwhile, COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry General Manager Ji-Jiang Jiang said that it is the first comprehensive technology research project in China that focuses on ammonia burning, ammonia-diesel, dual-fuel engine, ammonia fuel supply system, exhaust gas treatment and onboard application demonstration, which is of “great significance and has far-reaching impact.”

“In the future, we will continue to pioneer innovation, with the development of green, low-carbon and smart shipping,” Jiang added.

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