Ammonia-fuelled boxship projects get class support

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 05 December 2019


Two classification societies have added their weight to different projects initiated by MAN Energy Solutions in conjunction with Chinese organisations for developing ammonia-fuelled container vessels.

In one of the projects Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted Approval in Principle to Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. (DSIC) and MAN Energy Solutions for an ammonia-fuelled 23,000 TEU Ultra-Large Container Ship (ULCS) concept design, the first ammonia as fuel design of its kind in China.


LR facilitated hazard identification (HAZID) workshops to determine potential hazards throughout the design phase, covering areas limited to the ammonia-fuelled engine and the external piping systems. LR also provides technical guidance regarding the ship’s design and the provision of technical materials, in accordance with the goals and functional requirements from current and anticipated regulatory rules, procedures and guidelines.

Yang Zhizhong, President of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, commented during the ceremony, “DSIC has developed the concept design of the zero-carbon emission ULCV cooperating with MAN Energy Solution and Lloyd's Register. The "C-FUTURE" solution is another pioneering initiative of DSIC on the development of green ships and clean energy applications. DSIC will continue to strengthen cooperation with domestic and international partner, to develop environmentally friendly and efficient new ship type, to achieve more new breakthroughs.”

Mark Darley, LR North Asia President, said, “This is an exciting project, not only for LR who has had many firsts in this area, including the first hydrogen-fuelled ferry, Hydroville, but for the Chinese market as this is the first design of its kind and shows the country’s commitment to shipping’s decarbonisation journey. The global shipping community is facing the challenges associated with the IMO’s GHG ambitions, this is the first step in exploring and testing low carbon alternatives such as ammonia. We look forward to working closely with the key stakeholders on this project which aims to bring zero-carbon advancements in the field of ULCS design.”

In the second project, ABS will advise on compliance and safety considerations as MAN and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) develop designs for a low-emission feeder container vessel. Signed in a ceremony held at MarinteC China, the joint development project aims to produce designs for an ammonia-fuelled Chittagongmax 2,700teu container carrier.

“Ammonia is an energy source with significant potential to help the industry meet IMO 2030 and 2050 emission targets but will require stringent new safety standards to be developed in order to support its adoption,” said Dr. Xiaozhi (Christina) Wang, ABS Vice President, Global Marine. “This innovative project is typical of how ABS is working with leading partners across the world to support the development of next generation fuel solutions for shipping.”

SDARI will develop the ship design and engineering, which will utilise MAN’s dual fuel technology and ABS will assess safety-related issues and contribute to the development of rules and standards in relation to ammonia as a fuel. Conceptual design development is the initial phase of the JDP, with the second phase moving to engagement with owners to develop designs tailored to their specific operational requirements.

“Building upon SDARI’s experience in feeder container vessels, we are actively seeking to develop next generation designs that incorporate strategies to meet IMO 2030 and 2050 targets,” said Zhiyong Zhou, SDARI Vice President.

Bjarne Foldager, Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said, “Enabling vessels to operate with low emissions has been an aim of MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke portfolio for many years and we continuously introduce engines capable of operating on such clean fuels as LNG, methanol and ethanol. As such, low-speed marine engines are already the most efficient propulsion system for trans-oceanic shipping, making them the de-facto, standard powertrain for commercial vessels. In this respect, developing ships fuelled by ammonia makes perfect sense as it has the potential in the future to be created from renewable, primary-energy sources such as wind, hydro or solar.”

Ammonia, when generated by renewable energy sources, has no carbon footprint and emits almost no CO2, SOx or particulate matter when burned in engines.

The Journal

Published every February the journal is now recognised as the highest quality publication that covers all aspects of maritime technology and regulation and a must read for the industry.

More Details