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MOL to start development of large-size ammonia carrier powered by ammonia

Japan-headed shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL) has announced an agreement on the joint development of a large-size ammonia carrier—also powered by ammonia fuel—with compatriots Namura Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL) has announced an agreement on the joint development of a large-size ammonia carrier—also powered by ammonia fuel—with Namura Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd (image courtesy MOL).

Currently, ammonia is used mainly as a raw material for fertilizer but its maritime transport volume is limited. It is expected to be in great demand in the future as a next-generation clean energy source that emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion – mainly for use in mixed combustion at coal thermal power plants and for use as a hydrogen carrier.

Ammonia is also positioned as an important option to achieve carbon neutrality. Annual demand in Japan is estimated at 3 million tonnes by 2030, rising ten-fold to 30 million tonnes by 2050.

To meet this increased demand, MOL will develop a large-size ammonia carrier and contribute to a decarbonized society by offering safe, high-quality, and reliable transport of this clean energy resource.

In addition, ammonia holds great promise as a vessel fuel. MOL will push ahead with efforts to shift to ammonia as a vessel fuel, with the aim of deploying net-zero emissions ocean-going vessels in the 2020s and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, as stated in the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1.

MOL will establish a collaborative framework with each company to order the ship’s main engine, currently in development, which uses ammonia as its main fuel, with the goal of introducing it as quickly as possible.

The jointly developed large-size ammonia carrier will adopt an ammonia-fueled main engine to promote the reduction of GHG emissions from MOL-operated vessels.

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