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MoU Inked for Collaborative Development of Ammonia-Powered Bulk Vessels in Japan
MoU Inked for Collaborative Development of Ammonia-Powered Bulk Vessels in Japan

MoU Inked for Collaborative Development of Ammonia-Powered Bulk Vessels in Japan

  • 12-Apr-2024 12:43 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” LINE) made an announcement on April 11, 2024, revealing a significant memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in collaboration with ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU”), Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., MAN Energy Solutions (MAN), Mitsui E&S Co., Ltd., and NS United Kaiun Kaisha, Ltd. The MOU outlines joint development efforts aimed at commercializing ammonia-fueled ships.

Ammonia is emerging as a crucial zero-emission marine fuel solution, and widespread adoption could substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The advancement and deployment of dual-fueled engines, which primarily utilize ammonia as fuel (known as ammonia-fueled engines), are essential for the extensive adoption of ammonia-powered vessels. Ensuring safety in handling toxic ammonia and confirming stable operations at sea are crucial milestones toward social implementation. The MOU is premised on Nihon Shipyard's construction of 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers, which will be equipped with ammonia-fueled engines developed by MAN as a pilot project before commercialization. Subsequently, operational data will be collected post-delivery to facilitate the commercialization of ammonia-fueled engines and ships in collaboration with other stakeholders.

This MOU signifies a significant milestone in the journey towards implementing ammonia-fueled ships—a new challenge embraced by the maritime industry—and is a crucial step in advancing the Integrated Project facilitated by ITOCHU. ITOCHU and its partners will proceed with the development of ammonia-fueled engines and ships based on this MOU, aiming to commence social implementation once the engines and ships are ready, in line with the integrated project for the development and social implementation of ammonia-fueled ships selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in October 2021 as part of its publicly solicited Green Innovation Fund Project/Development Project for Next-Generation Ships/Development of Ammonia Fueled Ships.

Being firmly entrenched in the shipping sector, the “K” LINE Group, a logistics firm, is dedicated to lessening its environmental footprint, aiming for sustainable expansion and heightened corporate worth. This commitment aligns with its core principle of enhancing people's lives.

In this collaborative effort, each partner plays a crucial role in the development and implementation of ammonia-fueled ships. MAN leads the design and development of ammonia-fueled engines and verifies their performance post-delivery of the 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers equipped with these engines. Nihon Shipyard is tasked with designing and constructing the bulk carriers, ensuring they are outfitted with efficient ammonia-fueled engines. Meanwhile, ITOCHU, along with “K” LINE and NS United, focuses on crew development and ship management to operate the bulk carriers, collecting valuable operational data in the process. Mitsui E&S is responsible for manufacturing the ammonia-fueled engines for the vessels and designing related systems. Additionally, ITOCHU facilitates information sharing for ammonia fuel supply, ensuring seamless collaboration among the partners involved in this ambitious project.

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