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Thursday, June 3, 2021 

NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard and ClassNK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU ) with Yara International to jointly study the practical application of an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that uses ammonia as its main fuel.

Yara International is a Norwegian supplier of nitrogen fertilisers, producing roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually. It is the paraent of clean-tech company Yara Marine. Yara employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including five fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580kt of storage capacity. The company has established a Clean Ammonia Unit, which aims to achieve a low-carbon future through clean ammonia throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to marine transportation.

Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realised by using CO2-free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia. The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a significant issue in the marine transportation sector. Ammonia is attracting attention from various quarters on land as well as at sea as an alternative fuel that can contribute to achieving these goals.

The  joint study is part of R&D for the practical application of the world's first AFAGC, which NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard, and ClassNK have been operating since August 2020. AFAGC contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions from ships by using ammonia as the main fuel and is expected to achieve zero emissions from ocean-going ships at an early stage by using ammonia as a marine fuel. It will also contribute to the establishment of a stable and economical supply chain for ammonia, for which demand is expected to grow in the future.

With the signing of the MoU, the project will now proceed with studies based on specific operational requirements, including ship design and development, by studying operational methods and regulatory compliance, and evaluating economic efficiency.

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