Japanese shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) is continuing its investment into more sustainably powered ships after gaining approval in principle for an Ammonia dual-fuelled vessel. 

The 3,500 TEU vessel is part of a joint development project by ONE, Nihon Shipyard, and classification society DNV and is part of the operator’s roadmap for alternative fuels published in 2022. 

Koshiro Wake, senior vice president of corporate strategy and sustainability at ONE, said: “Ammonia is definitely one of the primary focuses of our research as ammonia fuel has a great potential of generating lower GHG emissions than conventional marine fuels. We are pleased to have made such progress, and we will continue our study on ammonia.” 

In addition to developing the vessel with its partners, ONE also took part in an ammonia bunkering pilot safety study led by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation. 

The company also placed an order for 12 methanol dual-fuelled ships earlier this month and has previously ordered ten methanol and ammonia ready 13,700TEU boxships in March 2023 as part of its strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, in line with industry standards. 

While many of the world’s largest shipping companies have invested heavily in methanol-powered vessels due to its more immediate availability, with Maersk unveiling the world’s first methanol-powered feeder container ship in 2023, ammonia has also been identified as a major part of shipping’s transition to green fuels. 

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ONE’s success with its ammonia powered vessel project will now see it move closer to taking orders for the ship, potentially sparking further investment into the fuel as it becomes a feasible alternative.