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Ammonia-Ready Fleet is Growing as ABS-Classed Boxship Delivers

ammonia-ready containership
ALS Ceres delivered to ABS Class – Courtesy of Asiatic Lloyd

Published Jun 8, 2023 3:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

The ammonia-ready fleet of ships is starting to grow as shipowners and operators look to protect their investments by preparing the ships they are currently building for the future. As work continues to develop the systems required to use ammonia as a marine fuel ship designs are being adapted to accommodate the transition to future fuels.

Classification society ABS reports that the ALS Ceres was delivered to ABS class on May 29 as one of the first ammonia-ready containerships. The vessel is assigned with the ABS Ammonia Fuel Ready Level 1C and Methanol Fuel Ready Level 1C Class notations, indicating that a concept-level design study has been carried out for future conversion to ammonia and methanol fueling.

“The ALS Ceres is a great example of how the maritime industry is implementing energy-efficient technologies to meet global decarbonization targets,” said Pier Carazzai, ABS Vice President of Engineering Europe and Middle East. “The successful conclusion of the project is a testament to the dedication and efforts of the ABS China Engineering and Survey Operation teams that supported this project and worked together to deliver this state-of-the-art vessel for the next generation.”

The containership was designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) and built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC). It is the first in a series of six container carriers ordered by Asiatic Lloyd Maritime, Singapore, part of the AL Group. 

The ship falls into the lower end of the mid-size range for containerships. It is 836 feet long and 81,000 dwt. Its designated carrying capacity is 7,100 TEU.

“The ALS Ceres is Asiatic Lloyd’s first ABS-classed, new-build vessel, and we appreciate the support from ABS in the successful conclusion of this project,” said Friedrich Bunnemann, Managing Partner of Asiatic Lloyd and of AL Group.

In addition to the designs to provide for the transition to future alternative fuels, they note that the ship incorporates other new design elements. The vessel is one of the first to feature the ABS FOC notation, an enhanced standard reflecting additional fire-fighting methods.

According to the builders, the new, energy-efficient hull design and a fuel-efficient main engine that is compliant with NOx Tier III requirements, will give the vessel a low fuel consumption in comparison to its peers of the same vessel type, size, and service speed.

Last week, Belgium’s CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge) also highlighted that they had taken delivery on its first ammonia-ready containership. Also built in China, the vessel was delivered on May 23 and will be operating under charter to CMA CGM. It is similar in size to the ALS Ceres, with a carry capacity of 6,014 TEU, and was also classed as ammonia-ready. It is also the first of a class six ships and part of the growing number of ships being built with consideration for ammonia as their future fuel.