An ABS-classed Suezmax tanker ordered by Avin International of Greece, a Vardinogiannis family company, is the first ammonia-fuel ready vessel in the world
Perhaps far sooner than many in the tanker industry expected, the first tanker with the option to be powered by ammonia is now under construction at New Times Shipbuilding, with options for two further vessels. Ammonia is one of the five candidate fuels for a lower carbon future for shipping.
Currently conventionally fuelled, the vessel complies with the ABS Ammonia Ready Level 1 requirements*, indicating it is designed to be converted to run on ammonia in the future. All the ships in the project will also meet ABS LNG Fuel Ready Level 1 requirements.
“It is a challenging time for shipowners looking to invest in modern vessels able to support fleet decarbonisation objectives throughout their life span. ABS’ alternative fuel ready suite of guidance and qualification programmes is designed to give owners the flexibility they need and help prepare for a future in which alternative fuels such as ammonia take a bigger role,” said ABS senior vice president, Global Engineering and Technology Patrick Ryan.
He added, “Ammonia is a promising zero-carbon fuel that can help meet the IMO’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2050. It offers shipowners and operators a zero-carbon tank-to-wake emissions profile but is not without challenges, not the least of which is the greater prescriptive requirements for containment and equipment than most of the other alternative fuels under consideration. ABS is leading the way in supporting the industry in the development and application of ammonia as a marine fuel.”
Avin International technical manager Michael Androulakakis said, “The shipowners, seeking early decarbonisation of their fleet which LNG fuel operations alone are not enough to fully achieve, have additionally invested in making the vessels ready for ammonia fuel. This currently appears to be one of the most widely available and most promising carbon neutral fuels for the future.”
New Times Shipbuilding sales manager Chen Yajun said, “Ammonia ready is the selling point of our new generation of Suezmax series. In the future, more and more shipowners will request clean energy, and ammonia is undoubtedly the best choice.”
*Ammonia Fuel Ready Level 1 indicates the vessel conforms to the requirements outlined in the ABS Guide for Gas and Other Low-Flashpoint Fuel Ready Vessels. This is part of a suite of industry guidance on alternative fuels developed by ABS, including support for the development of ammonia as a marine fuel. In October 2020, ABS published its Sustainability Whitepaper: Ammonia as Marine Fuel evaluating the challenges in design and operation of ammonia-fuelled vessels.
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