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Wednesday, July 7, 2021 

The Korea Register (KR) has announced the publication of new ‘Guidelines for ships using ammonia as fuel’, containing the class society’s latest safety regulations and inspection standards for vessels using ammonia fuel, while at the same time KR has developed new class notations for vessels meeting the regulations and inspection standards in the guidelines.

To achieve its initial GHG goal, IMO has introduced the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and the ship Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).  In the mid- to long-term, the plan is to realise decarbonisation in stages through market-based measures and the development of carbon-free fuels, such as ammonia. Ammonia emits no carbon dioxide during its combustion, is relatively easy to store and transport compared to hydrogen, is cheaper, and has less possibility of fire or explosion.  As a result, ammonia is attracting worldwide attention (along with hydrogen), as a next-generation energy source, with the shipping industry actively conducting technical research into the use of ammonia as a fuel.

KR has issued its new Guidelines for ships using ammonia as fuel in response to customer demand for future ammonia-fuelled ships and to contribute to the safe introduction of ammonia as ship fuel. The guidelines describe in detail the design and arrangement of machinery spaces and fuel tanks, control and safety devices, and material requirements for any facilities handling ammonia, taking into consideration the toxicity and corrosiveness of ammonia. In addition, new class notations (SF-Ammonia, DF-Ammonia, Ammonia Ready) have been developed. If the vessel satisfactorily meets the regulations and inspection standards in the guidelines, the relevant classification notation can be issued.

The Ammonia Ready notation has been pre-emptively developed, to include the requirements for ammonia fuel-ready ships.  It will be granted to ships which cannot operate with ammonia fuels immediately, due to the technical limitations of ammonia engines, etc., but will do so in the future.

Mr Kim Yeon-tae, EVP KR’s Technical Division, said: “Ammonia-fuelled ships are under development in various fields, we hope that our guidelines will help support the maritime industry to introduce ammonia as a ship fuel. KR will continue to provide technical support and develop regulations for carbon-free fuels, to help the maritime industry’s successful transition to decarbonisation.”

In January 2021, KR published its Report on Ammonia-Fuelled Ships, which outlined key characteristics and information on ammonia.

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