3 June 2021
NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard, and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) signed a MOU with Yara International to jointly study the practical application of an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that uses ammonia as its main fuel.
Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia.
One way of producing hydrogen without generating CO2 is through the use of renewable energy. A second way is by using natural gas or coal together with carbon capture and storage. CO2-free ammonia synthesis is technology for synthesizing ammonia using such CO2-free hydrogen.
The use of ammonia as a fuel for power generation is expected to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and development is underway for ammonia co-firing power generation at coal-fired power stations.
In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set the goal of halving GHG emissions from the international maritime sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century.
Ammonia is attracting attention from various quarters as an alternative fuel that can contribute to achieving these goals.
Overview of joint study
The project is part of joint R&D for the practical application of the world’s first AFAGC, which NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard, and ClassNK have been operating since August 2020.
AFAGC contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions from ships by using ammonia as the main fuel, and is expected to achieve zero emissions from ocean-going ships at an early stage by using ammonia as a marine fuel.
The project is expected to make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of not only the maritime industry but also the energy industry. The aim of partners is also to establish international standards as soon as possible by being actively involved in R&D in the field of safety.