Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has granted an approval in principle (AiP) to South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and its parent company Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) for the design and development of an ammonia carrier with ammonia-fuelled propulsion.

As explained, the design was developed to ensure its compatibility with the existing infrastructure for ammonia, while also reflecting the market’s demand for very large gas carriers (VLGCs).

The vessel will be 227 meters long, 36.6 meters wide, and 23.6 meters deep – similar dimensions to that of the HHI 91K VLGC design.

Additionally, it will be equipped with four prismatic-type cargo tanks with a total capacity of 91,000 cubic meters. This design was optimised for the safe and efficient carriage of ammonia as a single cargo, thereby maximising competitiveness for shipowners, both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX, according to BV.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates this is a feasible solution that will support our journey towards net zero carbon shipping,” Matthieu de Tugny, President of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commented.

HHI expects to secure its position among top providers of ammonia propulsion technologies with the new design as interest for ammonia continues to grow worldwide. In July this year, HHI also teamed up with shipping company Euronav, classification societies Lloyd’s Register and DNV on a  joint development project (JDP) focused on ammonia-fuelled tankers. The project partners want to gain control, yet retain flexibility in constructing future specifications for a new generation of crude tankers.

Ammonia is one of the main alternative fuel options currently considered by shipping for net zero operations, in line with the targets set up by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the maritime sector by 2030 and 2050.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier predicted that ammonia will account for around 45% of global energy demand for shipping in 2050.

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