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    DNV approves ammonia-fuelled LPG carrrier

Summary

Navigator Gas has taken its idea for an ammonia-fuelled vessel, first mooted in 2018, to a successful milestone (Image credit: Navigator Gas)

by: William Powell

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DNV approves ammonia-fuelled LPG carrrier

LPG fleet operator Navigator Gas has been awarded an Approval in Principle (AiP) for an ammonia-fuelled gas carrier design by DNV, the Norwegian classifcation agency said September 17.

The AiP was based on the special features notation (GF NH3) under DNV's new rules for the use of ammonia as fuel in gas carriers. DNV found no potential showstoppers to its realisation.

Navigator started discussing ammonia as a fuel with consortium partners including Babcock LGE and MAN Energy Solutions in 2018, when it was a marginal option, it said. "Since our discussions began, we have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of projects around the globe looking at hydrogen and ammonia as carbon free source of energy. We have also been engaging with our customers and business partners to discuss their carbon free shipping requirements for transporting blue/green ammonia to their customers," it said.

DNV said that tackling the decarbonisation challenge is going to be most challenging and significant decision its customers are likely to make this decade. "This is why we have created class notations and guideline that give them the flexibility to find the path that fits their operations and business," it said.

The use of ammonia as fuel is supported by Babcock LGE's operational experience of delivering LPG fuel supply systems and carrying ammonia as a cargo on gas carriers, meaning specific issues occurring when using ammonia are well understood. 

MAN Energy Solutions said large quantities of ammonia are already transported around the world and using it to power ships "would be a natural step." In this context, we have already announced that we expect to be make a dual-fuel, two-stroke ammonia engine commercially available for large-scale ocean-going ships by 2024, followed by a retrofit package to make existing maritime vessels capable of running on ammonia by 2025," the company said. 

The news comes the same day that fertiliser maker Yara announced it was cutting production owing to high gas price. Methane is feedstock for ammonia-based fertilisers. Rival UK manufacturer CF Industries had announced the closure of two large fertiliser plants September 16.