MSC explores ammonia fuel for new builds Ship’s crew

The MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s largest container shipping company, has announced its intention to explore the use of ammonia as a fuel for its newly built container ships.

The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR), Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and MAN Energy Solutions (MAN-ES) to develop an ammonia dual-fuel Systems completed an MSC container ship.

The MOU describes the development of a technical specification and design documents for an ammonia dual fuel variant of SDARI’s 8,200 TEU twin island container ship. The vessel will be classified LR by MSC, allowing the company to consider ammonia as the main carbon-free propulsion fuel for future newbuild contracts.

As part of the collaboration, SDARI will be responsible for creating the specification and design documentation for the ammonia dual-fuel variant, while LR will ensure the design meets safety standards and regulations for the use of ammonia as a marine fuel. MAN-ES will provide data for the engine design and the ammonia fuel supply and emission control systems.

Ammonia is increasingly recognized as a promising alternative fuel for the maritime industry’s transition to sustainable operations. When combusted, ammonia does not emit CO2 and is suitable for long-distance transportation due to its stability and reasonable energy-to-volume ratio.

Nick Brown, CEO of Lloyd’s Register, was enthusiastic about the project and said the collaboration is a crucial step in the industry’s energy transition and efforts to meet emission reduction targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“The use of ammonia as a marine fuel for the container ship sector will be critical for our industry to meet the emission reduction targets set by the IMO, and this cross-supply-chain collaboration represents a critical step in the maritime industry’s energy transition,” he said.

Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuilding at MSC, stressed the importance of proactive collaboration between ship operators, designers, class societies and engine manufacturers. The MSC aims to assess the safety and operational impact of introducing carbon-free fuels such as ammonia.

“As part of this MOU, we will develop the engineering solution for an ammonia dual-fuel variant of our 8,200 TEU container ship design for MSC, a world-leading shipping company. Projects like this are vital in helping us to assess the risks and opportunities of using ammonia for propulsion and to share these learnings throughout the maritime supply chain,” added Wang Gangyi, CTO of SDARI.

Bjarne Foldager, head of 2-stroke at MAN Energy Solutions, emphasized the importance of exploring different fuel solutions to achieve the industry’s decarbonization goals. “Participating in this MoU with MSC, SDARI and LR aligns with our strategic goal of providing decarbonization solutions to our trusted partners and solidifies the industry’s commitment to reducing emissions,” he said.

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