Three ship designs from HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE), all using Amogy’s ammonia cracking technology have received approval in principle (AiP) from major classification societies. 

Announced at Posidonia 2024, a very large ammonia carrier (VLAC) from HHI and Capital Gas Ship Management received an AiP from the American Bureau of Shipping and Liberian Registry. 

Similarly, Lloyd’s Register granted AiP to an 88,000m3 ammonia carrier designed by SHI, as well as a feeder ship design from HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and KSOE, highlighting the increased popularity of ammonia as a marine fuel. 

Amogy CEO Seonghoon Woo welcomed the batch of good news for the company and described the AIPs as an “important milestone”. 

Discussing the 88,000m3 design from SHI, he said: “Powered by Amogy’s innovative technology, this ammonia carrier promises to redefine industry standards, driving forward sustainable fuel solutions for the maritime sector.” 

The trio of AiPs comes only days after a Maersk-backed design for a 3,500 TEU capacity ammonia-powered ship also received approval from ABS and Lloyd’s Register

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While all of the designs will still need to seek approval from individual flag states to begin construction and operation, the raft of approvals at Posidonia showcases the ongoing development of ammonia technology, which is one of the more promising sustainable fuels highlighted by the maritime industry. 

The ship designers will also be hoping that the AIPs may alleviate the fears of some in the industry about the safety of using ammonia, which can provide emissions-free power but would be highly toxic to humans and marine life if it leaked from fuel containers. 

Last year, Lloyd’s Register and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping released a quantitative risk assessment of ammonia which highlighted safety recommendations to reduce the risk of using the fuel that could inform ship designs. 

Seung-Ho Jeon, CTO at HHI, said: “There is growing demand for vessel performance that guarantees efficiency and eco-friendliness. While ammonia is gaining attention as a carbon-free fuel, its strong toxicity requires utmost safety. 

“Through this JDP, we have analysed the safety of fuel cells on VLACs, bringing us a significant step closer to achieving the IMO net-zero GHG emission strategy by 2050.”