Japan’s shipping company Mitsui & Co., Ltd. has signed a time charter agreement with compatriot firm IINO Kaiun Kaisha for a 23,000 cbm ammonia fuel-ready ammonia carrier.

The new vessel will be 160 meters long, with a depth of 15.9 meters. It will be built by South Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The ship, which is scheduled for delivery in December 2023, will transport ammonia, mainly from Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia, especially Japan, handled by Mitsui.

“Mitsui has been handling ammonia for around 50 years and currently handles around 700,000 tons of ammonia per year, primarily for Asian markets. Especially Mitsui holds the largest share in ammonia imported into Japan and has been supplying ammonia to customers, mainly for use in the production of chemicals and fertilizers,” the firm noted.

This is the world’s first ammonia carrier to be designed and built based on the basic certification for ammonia-fuel-ready ship by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a global classification society and is a next-generation ship that can also transport LPG, according to the company.

In addition, it will be the first environmentally friendly unit owned by the Japanese shipping company that can switch not only to LPG fuel, but also to ammonia fuel, which is drawing attention as a zero-emission fuel.

 Ammonia is attracting interest as a zero-emission fuel that emits no carbon dioxide during combustion, and as a means for transporting hydrogen.

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In the past, IINO Lines and Mitsui & Co. collaborated on liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. In 2006, IINO Lines launched a joint business with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui and Equinor for the purpose of owning two LNG tankers, the Arctic Discoverer and Arctic Voyager.

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Now IINO, which owns more than 100 vessels, is re-entering the ammonia transportation business for the first time since 2017, and is furthering its commitment to the realization of a sustainable society.

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