ABS supports China shipbuilding’s entry into ammonia-fuelled vessels


ABS ahas warded two approvals in principle (AIPs) to COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., and COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry Technology Co., Ltd., for their ammonia-fuelled vessel and ammonia supply system designs which are being trialled on a tugboat.

Given the challenging characteristics of ammonia, ABS conducted a comprehensive review and risk assessment focused on ammonia filling, storage, supply, ventilation and emergency handling in the AIP process to address the safety and reliability of the systems.

“These are exciting developments for COSCO Shipping and China shipbuilding to show leadership in the decarbonisation of our industry,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability.

“Ammonia offers ship owners and operators a zero-carbon, tank-to-wake emissions profile. Yet, we also recognize that ammonia presents a specific set of safety and technology challenges, and ABS is committed to leading the industry in supporting its safe adoption at sea.”

“This is the first comprehensive technology research project in China focusing on ammonia burning, ammonia-diesel, dual-fuel engine, ammonia fuel supply system, exhaust gas treatment and onboard application demonstration, which is of great significance and has far-reaching impact,” said Ji-Jiang Jiang, COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry General Manager. “In the future, we will continue to pioneer innovation, with the development of green, low-carbon and smart shipping.”

The tugboat is designed to be 36 meters in length with a towing capacity of up to 60 tons. The ammonia supply system will be part of the vessel, providing ammonia for propulsion.