Hamburg - German engine builder MAN Energy Solutions has partnered up with Japanese shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding, ClassNK classification society, Mitsui E&S Machinery, and energy trading firm of Itochu Corporation, Itochu Enex, on the development of a vessel powered by ammonia. The cooperation builds on the work MAN Energy Solutions has already launched on the development of an ammonia-powered engine. This will serve as the groundwork for developing the design of the vessel including that of the ammonia storage tank, fuel supply system and a series of systems for the main engine.
Mitsui and ClassNK will support the project through safety assessment services and insight, while Itochu Enex and Itochu Corporation will be in charge of exploring the ammonia fuel distribution network and establishment of a supply facility of ammonia for maritime use. The project is in line with the shipping industry’s efforts to decarbonize shipping and build zero-emission vessels. Hydrogen and ammonia have been identified as the likely zero-emission fuels of the future, with the latter having greater potential to power large trans-ocean going ships: “The potential of ammonia as a fuel for two-stroke engine propulsion is huge as it will bring fulfillment of emission regulations, it has a higher volumetric energy density than liquid hydrogen, and it is less expensive and complex to transport and store than for example hydrogen and other fuels in need of cryogenic temperatures,” MAN Energy Solutions said in a white paper last year.
The engine manufacturer is working on a two-stroke ammonia concept, which will be an add-on to the ME engine, similar to the previous engine concepts for liquid gas injection propane, ME-LGIP (LPG) and liquid gas injection methanol, ME-LGIM.