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Carbon neutrality

Samsung Heavy wins approval for ammonia-ready ship design

Aims to commercialize ammonia fuel propulsion ships by 2024 with its own ammonia fuel supply system

By Aug 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung Heavy's LNG-powered VLCC.
Samsung Heavy's LNG-powered VLCC.

Samsung Heavy Industries obtained a certificate for its basic design to revamp a liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel-powered crude tanker into an ammonia-fueled vessel, allowing the South Korean shipbuilder to take a step closer to carbon neutrality.

Samsung said on Aug. 19 that it won approval in principle (AIP) for the design of ammonia-ready very large crude carrier (VLCC) from DNV, Norwegian certification company specialized in shipping and transportation. An ammonia-ready ship is a vessel powered by LNG and diesel can be adopt an ammonia propulsion system later by reflecting its hull structure, fuel tank specifications and risk assessment in advance.

“It is an important time for global shipbuilding and shipping industries to prepare for carbon neutrality,” said Samsung’s technology development division head Chung Ho-hyun. “We will make efforts to make eco-friendly technologies related to ammonia and fuel cells developed by Samsung Heavy Industries the center of paradigm changes in shipbuilding industry."

Ammonia is regarded as a suitable marine fuel in the low-carbon and decarbonization era as it does not emit carbon dioxide during combustion and is easy to store, transport and handle. In addition, compared to hydrogen, the risk of explosion is lower and supply is more stable. Global shipbuilding and shipping industries are actively developing technology to use ammonia as an eco-friendly marine fuel.

Samsung aims to commercialize ammonia fuel propulsion ships by 2024 by developing its own ammonia fuel supply system.

The company has already been working on such ships since July 2019 with Malaysia’s flagship shipping line MISC Berhad, a German ship engine manufacturer MAN, a Norwegian ammonia supplier Yara International and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Last September, Samsung obtained another API for the ammonia-propelled A-Max tanker. The A-Max tankers refer to 85,000 to 125,000-deadweight-tonnage oil tankers.

Write to Jeong Min Nam at

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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