LR Awards AiP to EXMAR’s Mid-Sized Ammonia-Fueled Gas Carrier

design for ammonia-fueled gas carrier
Exmar’s Very Large Gas Carriers

Published Mar 11, 2021 12:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

The next step in the race to develop designs for ammonia-fueled ships is coming from the Belgium shipowner EXMAR, which was awarded an Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register for a midsize gas carrier fueled with the emerging alternative fuel. The companies are calling the awarding of the LR certificate a significant milestone in the progression toward ships using alternative fuels.

Lloyd’s Register awarded the AiP for an ammonia-fueled 40,000 m3 midsize gas carrier. Jiangnan Shipyard was responsible for the ship design while Wartsila Gas Solutions provided all the input for the ammonia fuel gas supply system.

“This is a significant milestone in progressing alternative fuels for shipping’s transition to zero-carbon, proving the possibility of the use of ammonia as a fuel and how adaptable the fuel is to gas carriers, especially if carrying ammonia as cargo,” said Ed Fort, LR’s Global Head of Engineering Systems. “Lloyd’s Register is immensely proud to have awarded EXMAR Approval in Principle for its ammonia-fueled Medium Gas Carrier, demonstrating our commitment to shipping by supporting clients with novel designs.

The Novel Technology Evaluation included an overall examination of fundamental aspects of the design and compliance with LR’s Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships and for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk (for Gas Ships). It incorporated the International Code of the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code).

A risk assessment was also conducted, using EXMAR’s knowledge and experience of operating ammonia carriers, to ensure that risks arising from the use of ammonia fuel affecting persons onboard, the structural strength, or the integrity of the ship are addressed in accordance with LR’s ShipRight Procedure for Risk-Based Designs (RBD). This included a Hazard Identification (HAZID) study which led to the Approval in Principle.

Wartsila Gas Solutions provided the details for the ammonia fuel system and also jointly conducted required studies for evaluating the readiness of the systems.

“We believe this project of ammonia-fueled Medium Gas Carrier is not only a low CO2 emission ship, but it will be also a significant landmark on the roadmap of IMO 2050,” said Hu Keyi, Chief of Corporate Technology of Jiangnan Shipyard.

EXMAR is using its experience with handling ammonia to develop the new ship designs. The company also was a pioneer in introducing LPG as a fuel in 2012.  Currently, the company has two dual-fuel VLGCs under construction.

This project is viewed as an important mid-term step toward the development of ammonia-fueled vessels. Near-term, the shipping industry believes LPG and other alternatives will work to serve as a bridge while the efforts continue to develop ammonia technologies. EXMAR estimated it could be 2024 before the designs for the first ammonia engines would be ready and it would take additional time to build the infrastructure to maintain steady supplies of green ammonia.