Home World Ammonia-Fueled Tugboat obtains AiP from classification society ClassNK

Ammonia-Fueled Tugboat obtains AiP from classification society ClassNK

Step Forward toward Realization of a Zero-Emission Ship

On July 11, NYK Line and IHI Power Systems  obtained AiP  from Japanese classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai  for an ammonia-fueled tugboat currently being jointly researched and developed. This is the world’s first tugboat using ammonia as fuel has obtained AiP from ClassNK.

This R&D is part of the Green Innovation Fund project within Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization for the development of vessels equipped with a domestically produced ammonia-fueled engine, adopted in October 2021 for NYK Line and IPS.*

Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is combusted, ammonia is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized considering even the fuel life cycle by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen** as a raw material for ammonia.

By using ammonia as a fuel for ships, it will be possible to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during voyages. Therefore, the companies are proceeding with research and development aiming for early social implementation.

The main design issues when using ammonia as a fuel during development are as follows.

For this AiP, NYK Line and IPS attempted a design to safely and practically install ammonia fuel-related equipment in a limited space on board by developing an ammonia fuel engine, selecting equipment, and devising the equipment layout in the design. As a result, the companies have achieved the design of A-Tug, which overcomes the above challenges without changing the size of a conventional tugboat.

The parties obtained the AiP after a prescribed examination by ClassNK. In the future, the companies will work toward the realization of a demonstration operation at the port of Yokohama in fiscal 2024 through further studies for construction.


Hand-over ceremony
From left,
Masaki Matsunaga, Corporate Office/Director of Plan Approval and Technical Solution Division, ClassNK
Toshi Nakamura, Executive Officer, NYK Line
Yuichi Tamura, Division Director/Engineering & Technology Center, IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd.
※Face masks were removed immediately prior to the photo
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