Published 2020-09-03 00:00:00
Start for Practical Application of Ammonia-fueled tug
World's First Effort to Achieve Zero Emissions from Ships Using Ammonia Fuel

On August 18, NYK, IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd., and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) signed a joint research and development agreement to put the world's first ammonia-fueled tugboat into practical use.

With the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2016, global momentum for decarbonization has increased, and reducing GHG emissions has become an issue in the shipping sector. In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set a goal of halving GHG emissions from the international shipping sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century. Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen* as a raw material for ammonia. Thus, the companies have decided to start this joint R&D for an ammonia-fueled tugboat. In fact, the companies worked together to jointly develop the LNG-fueled tugboat Sakigake**, which was built in 2015 as Japan's first ship fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). In this new joint R&D project, we will utilize the knowledge cultivated in the development, construction, and operation of Sakigake.

Future Outlook

The introduction of ammonia as a marine fuel is highly expected to be a practical solution for decarbonization in the shipping sector. This joint R&D envisions the implementation of ammonia marine fuel in tugboats that require high output, and we will firmly establish the technical and operational requirements for that purpose. If it is possible to commercialize marine equipment that uses ammonia, which is one of the candidates for a next-generation fuel, and establish a method for operating the vessel, it is expected that the Japanese maritime industry will make a significant contribution to decarbonization of the international shipping sector.

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