Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. This means its molecule lacks carbon atoms, thus doesn’t emit CO2 during combustion. It potentially could be exploited for a truly zero carbon propulsion.
However, nowadays most ammonia derives from natural gas, which is not a net-zero product.
At RINA, we strongly believe that ammonia can help decarbonize the shipping sector and our next-gen Project Managers will need to address this challenge and find a way to use clean ammonia as a fuel for ships.
We think ammonia could be playing a critical role in the decarbonization of the shipping sector and, on 1 May 2021, we published the first edition of our rules for the use of “Ammonia as fuel”.
Last year we also signed a Joint Development Project Agreement with the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a ground-breaking ship design capable of being fueled by either ammonia or methanol.
It is the first project to investigate using both methanol and ammonia in a tanker ship.
Ammonia is not ready yet for bunkering in all ports - as it should be for immediate and widespread use -, but the design of a new ship can already consider how a vessel can be arranged to use ammonia as fuel. For this reason, in addition to the above-mentioned rules, we also published the requirements to get an additional class notation “Ammonia Ready” on a traditionally fueled ship.