Japan’s shipping giant NYK and its partners MTI and Elomatic have completed the development of a concept design for an ammonia-ready LNG-fueled vessel (ARLFV).
NYK revealed this development with the institute and the Finnish engineering firm in September last year. The shipping firm has been expanding its fleet of LNG-fueled vessels as it looks to slash emissions and meet its long-term target of net-zero emissions of greenhouse gas by 2050.
NYK sees LNG-fueled vessels as a bridge solution to ships propelled by future marine fuels, such as ammonia or hydrogen. In this project, NYK and Elomatic started the development of a concept design for an ARLFV that can be converted from an LNG-fueled vessel to an ammonia-fueled vessel, based on the assumption that ammonia would become a next-generation marine fuel, it said.
A concept design considers the specifications of a ship from an operation aspect, including factors such as load capacity, voyage distance, ship speed, fuel capacity, etc.
During the first phase from September 2021 to the end of February 2022, the partners designed an ARLFV to perform the functions of a pure car carrier and a post-panamax bulker.
Also, they mainly worked on the material of the tank, placement of additional tanks for ammonia, which has a larger volume than LNG, hull structure strength, confirmation of rules such as ship classification rules for safe use of ammonia fuel, etc.
During Phase 1.5, which would continue until June 2022, the partners plan to design a similar concept for a capesize bulk carrier and a very large crude oil carrier, according to NYK.
Furthermore, until the end of 2022 in Phase 2, they would proceed with the actual design of an ARLFV with a shipyard and marine manufacturers, reflecting the results obtained in the concept design, such as the optimal fuel-tank layout, ammonia-fuel supply device, and structural strength of the hull.
Following completion of the actual ship design, the project would complete as well. “Afterward, we will propose to customers and business partners a transportation service that can transition trouble-free from an LNG-fueled vessel to an ammonia-fueled vessel through use of an ARLFV,” NYK said. NYK said it aims to offer customers ARLFV contracts in 2023 and plans to complete building the first ARLFVs in 2025.