The Korean Register (KR) has awarded approval in principle (AiP) for an 8K ammonia bunkering vessel, which is owned by the design engineering firm KMS EMEC.

The KR, KMS EMEC and Singapore-based shipping firm Navig8 developed the vessel as a joint development project (JDP).

KR stated that this vessel is the first Korean 8K ammonia bunkering vessel to feature dual-fuel options of both marine gasoil and ammonia.

KMS EMEC and Navig8 collaborated to develop the first domestic conceptual design according to the MAN Energy Solution’s engine specifications.

KR was responsible for completing essential risk assessments, designing safety verification and reviewing compliance with Korean and global regulations.

Navig8 also reviewed the commercial feasibility and operational economics of ammonia as ship fuel in detail.

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KR research and development division executive vice-president Kim Dae-Heon said: “The whole maritime industry is interested in eco-friendly alternative fuels to meet the requirements of the new environmental regulations. As a result, this JDP confirming the feasibility of 8K ammonia bunkering ships is significant.

“KR will continue working to work with industry stakeholders to find the most effective ways to meet the environmental regulations and to respond quickly and effectively to any environmental challenge as it arises.”

Earlier this month, Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) partnered with KR for the development of the world’s first hydrogen vessel standard.

The partners will evaluate the settings for safe handling of hydrogen on the basis of advanced technology, which will include cargo handling systems, vessels’ gas storage and fuel supply systems.

They are planning to submit the first international standard for hydrogen vessels to the International Maritime Organization by 2022.

Meanwhile, the Korean Government is also taking initiatives to facilitate the transition to zero-carbon fuelled vessels through various projects.