Image of the vessel Photo: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to build large-size ammonia carrier fueled by ammonia

16 Comments

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) Group, has reached an agreement with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd and Namura Shipbuilding Co Ltd on joint development of large-size ammonia carrier fueled by ammonia.

Ammonia is mainly used as a raw component of fertilizers, and is expected to be a high-quality, reliable and clean energy. The development aim to increase the volume of marine transportation of ammonia by large-size ammonia carrier which are fueled by ammonia. The three companies will jointly proceed with the development of basic design of large-size ammonia carrier where Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will take charge of the optimal design of cargo tank and deck tank used for ammonia fuel, organizing engine and related machinery systems including the fuel supply system, and development and design of cargo handling equipment, special equipment for ammonia transportation and safety equipment onboard.

In the years ahead, ammonia fuel is anticipated to increase in demand in the future as a next-generation clean energy that does not emit CO2 when burned, and as the global value chain of maritime industry shifts to decarbonization, it is highly expected as a long-term solutions for marine logistics. Ammonia is considered to be a promising choice for realizing carbon neutrality in Japan as well, and its demand is expected to increase especially in applications involving replacement of existing fuels in thermal power plants and as a hydrogen carrier.

The maritime industry now accounts for approximately 3% of the world's CO2 emissions, and it is said that the ratio is likely to increase relatively as the other industries make progress in decarbonizing. Going forward, according to MHI Group's strategy of advancement of the energy transition, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will strive to promote decarbonization of the maritime industry as well as to contribute to realizing a carbon neutral society and reduction of environmental load on a global scale as a marine system integrator, by utilizing its technologies and expertise in ammonia handling accumulated through its long experience in the building of Multi Gas Carriers for transportation of LPG /ammonia.

© JCN Newswire

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16 Comments
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Given Japan's track record of ships breaking down everywhere recently, this is an environmental hazard.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Given Japan's track record of ships breaking down everywhere recently, this is an environmental hazard.

Try not to confuse operator error / inadequate maintenance / unstable loadout with poor ship design. You can run a Toyota into the ground too if you fail to maintain it and abuse it enough. Read some maritime blogs and see how appallingly some ship owners treat their crews and neglect their ships. Here is just one example. This happens more than the general public is aware of.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/itf-11-crewmembers-abandoned-on-sinking-bulker-off-somalia

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Is this factoring in the CO2 to manufacture ammonia?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Is this factoring in the CO2 to manufacture ammonia?

Good question. Back in 2010, it seems 3 tons of CO2 was generated for each ton of ammonia produced. But I think there is a lot of research and development going on into producing ammonia without any CO2 generation.

https://cen.acs.org/environment/green-chemistry/Industrial-ammonia-production-emits-CO2/97/i24

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I had no idea ammonia was flammable, that is if the engines combust it to power the ship. Back in high school our drafting class blueprint machine used ammonia. Whew! Smelly stuff.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ammonia will be used to make artificial fertilizer, which leads to the release of N20 into the atmosphere, which is about 300 times worse than CO2 as a green house gas.

Humanity cannot, at this time, feed itself without artificial fertilizers, but certainly something should be done to see that it is used more prudently.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210603-nitrous-oxide-the-worlds-forgotten-greenhouse-gas

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Or is the intent to spread a ridiculous rumour about how Japan is supposed to be this washed up has-been country that bumbles its way through somehow?"

Nope.

He absolutely BELIEVES other people don't watch the news.

Or can search Google!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The ammonia will be used to make artificial fertilizer

Do you know that for sure? I understand the focus on ammonia is for energy production. Is there a reason to think artificial fertilizer usage will increase?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this factoring in the CO2 to manufacture ammonia?

The maritime industry is going to build an infrastructure to manufacture both hydrogen and ammonia using only renewable energy. No such plants cannot produce 24/7/365. It's more like make hay when the sun shines but if output is sufficient to meet anticipated demand then this becomes a way to produce ammonia and hydrogen carbon free. Prototype plants are being built in Europe right now to accomplish this. Wartsila and others, but Wartsila is by far the leader, are experimenting with engines derived from existing marine diesels (we are talking engines that stand four to five stories tall and produce over 100,000 shaft horsepower at 80-100 rpm) that run on hydrogen, ammonia or mixtures of the two. Most of us are not familiar with the properties of the kind of highly concentrated ammonia being considered for maritime propulsion. It is combustible but less so that diesel fuel. Hydrogen meanwhile is highly combustible so Wartsila is experimenting with different mixtures of the two, as well as with engines running only on ammonia or only on hydrogen to see which is the better compromise. Ammonia is easier to store and transport as it doesn't need to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures to liquify as hydrogen must be, while hydrogen in gaseous form has very low power density. There is much work to do but the maritime industry has a path forward to net zero carbon emissions.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Given Japan's track record of ships breaking down everywhere recently, this is an environmental hazard.

Surely there's some evidence you can provide to back this up? Even one little example?

An inattentive and possibly poorly trained crew runs a ship up on the rocks during a storm resulting in the ship breaking up and that becomes "proof" that Japanese ships are somehow not well built. Nobody designs a ship to withstand grounding and the subsequent back and fourth bending loads imposed on the hull by incessant wave action.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

HillclimberNov. 14  07:25 pm JST

Tom Doley Today  09:10 am JST

Given Japan's track record of ships breaking down everywhere recently, this is an environmental hazard.

Surely there's some evidence you can provide to back this up? Even one little example?

Or is the intent to spread a ridiculous rumour about how Japan is supposed to be this washed up has-been country that bumbles its way through somehow?

Don't waste your time, you're talking to someone who seems to believe that all "Japanese" ships are built, owned, operated and crewed by Japanese. A quick look at his posting history will easily identify him as a full-time Japan basher.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where have people been? Japanese ships recently broke up in Mauritius, Japan, Taiwan and the US. Grounding happens more frequently than people realise, and they're mostly piloted by 'foreign crews'. So what? But breaking up into two? Do some research. Only made in Japan ships broke up more often than not. Also, dont blame the crew. Faulty instrumentation and safety systems were part to blame. It's like blaming aircraft pilots for an air collision when the plane's TCAS wasn't working. Blinded fanboism is a curse.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Also, the oxidation of that NH3 produces not only clean water, but N2 or NO too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if Ammonia is used it needs to be "cracked" back into H2 gas first, which requires additional energy input. Is there any info out there on the cost effectiveness of this process?

First we use excess renewable energy from say Australia to produce ammonia, transport by ship to location, then crack to H2 to be supllied to fuel cell cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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