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Japanese study to achieve world’s first-ever supply of fuel ammonia to ships

Japanese study to achieve world’s first-ever supply of fuel ammonia to ships
An artist's rendering of an ammonia-powered tugboat (image courtesy JERA).

In Japan, energy utility major JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) has announced that it has concluded a joint study agreement with compatriot shipping major NYK Line and Resonac Corporation, to achieve the world’s first-ever supply of fuel ammonia to ships. 

Ammonia emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned, and could enable a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over conventional marine fuels while at sea.

The agreement provides for a joint study by the three companies aimed at achieving the supply of fuel ammonia to a tugboat with a domestically produced ammonia-fueled engine being researched and developed by NYK Line as a Green Innovation Fund project under Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

This joint study aimed at supplying fuel ammonia to ships is the first example of a decarbonization solution that reaches beyond the power generation sector toward use in other industrial sectors (multi-purpose).

Specific areas for joint study:

  • Establishment of safe operational methods for supplying fuel ammonia;
  • Development of systems for transporting fuel ammonia to port areas and receiving it there;
  • Engagement with related organizations to formulate rules regarding the supply of marine fuel ammonia.

JERA believes that this first-in-the-world initiative to supply fuel to a ship equipped with an ammonia-fueled engine will, through the joint study, make a significant contribution to the promotion and adoption of fuel ammonia in the shipping sector.

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