Keppel Offshore and Marine has received approval in principle (AIP) from US-based classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for its ammonia bunker vessel design.

The ammonia-driven vessel will be able to carry liquid ammonia as a carrier and bunker fuel for various other vessels as part of Project Sabre.

The design has been examined by the classification society under the ABS Guide for Ammonia Fueled Vessels and will secure ABS Notation A1, Liquefied Gas Carrier with Independent Tanks.

ABS Global Sustainability director Panos Koutsourakis said: “ABS understands the significant potential ammonia offers to shipowners and operators, as well as ports, and has developed deep insight into the unique safety challenges it introduces to the design, construction and operation of vessels using it for propulsion or power generation.

“ABS is leading the way in understanding the design and operation of ammonia-fueled vessels and we are committed to working with key partners, such as those in Project Sabre, to support its safe adoption by the industry.”

Project Sabre is an initiative undertaken by a consortium of maritime companies to develop a ship-to-ship-based ammonia bunker supply chain in Singapore.

In addition to ABS and Keppel Offshore and Marine, the consortium is comprised of AP Moller-Maersk, Fleet Management, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Sumitomo Corporation, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Launched in 2021, Project Sabre intends to carry out a feasibility study to evaluate the technical, commercial and regulatory viability of an ammonia bunker supply chain.

Earlier this month, ABS granted AIP to Samsung Heavy Industries’ ammonia-powered Neo-Panamax boxship design.