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NYK starts conversion of world’s first ammonia-fuel tugboat

Image: NYK NYK-ammonia-fuelled-tugboat.png
A-Tug the world's first ammonia-fuelled tugboat
NYK has started to conversion of a tugboat to ammonia-fuel which it says is a world first.

The LNG-fuelled tugboat Sakigake is being converted to run on ammonia at Keihin Dock Co. Ltd.

Dubbed, A-Tug, the vessel’s entire engine and fuel tank will be replaced. NYK said the yard will cut the engine room to remove existing LNG fuelling machinery to be replaced with ammonia equipment.

The ammonia-fuelled engine was developed from an October 2021 project by NYK, Japan Engine Corporation, IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd., and Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd. as part of the Green Innovation Fund Project of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Tests of the engine by IHI Power Systems show virtually zero emissions from the unburned ammonia and the nitrous oxide (N2O).

The converted A-Tug is scheduled for delivery in June 2024. “The vessel will continue to be operated by Shin-Nihon Kaiyosha to verify its decarbonisation effect and operational safety as the world's first ammonia-fueled vessel,” NYK said.

Operational safety is a key concern in the use of ammonia as a marine fuel given its high toxicity and potential dangers to life and the environment in the event of a spill.


TAGS: Shipyards Asia