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Live from Posidonia

LR and Guangzhou Shipyard to develop largest ever VLAC

Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Guangzhou Shipyard International have signed a joint development project at Posidonia to design the world’s largest very large ammonia carrier (VLAC).

Design of the 100,000 cu metres vessel has been assessed in line with LR’s Structural Design Assessment and prescriptive analysis. The gas carrier will have an independent IMO Type B tank for safe carriage of the chemical.

LR’s Chief Executive, Nick Brown, commented: “LR is proud to work with GSI on this historic design for the world’s largest ammonia carrier. As major economies look to co-fire ammonia in their coal power stations to reduce the CO2 footprint of their national energy mix, shipping will play a key role in distributing clean hydrogen-based commodities such as ammonia, thereby supporting nations to meet their Paris Agreement commitments.”

GSI Chairman, Chen Ji, said: “GSI has a good reputation in the market for innovation and a strong research and development ability to develop different kinds of vessels. The 100,000 cu metre VLAC design was developed with input from our long-term partners and an ammonia producer. Thanks to the trust extended by all parties, especially support from LR, GSI has developed the largest VLAC design in the world.”

Ammonia is widely viewed as the best way to transport hydrogen, ultimately a potential source of completely clean energy. However, with a boiling point of -253°C, hydrogen presents major challenges in terms of transport by sea.

With one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms, however, ammonia is an effective hydrogen carrier. It has a greater energy density than methanol and, as a key component in fertiliser production, it already has an established global supply chain.