Japan’s NYK Line is joined by Finland in finding LNG-powered ship design easily converted to future fuels

Thursday, 01 December 2022
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Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), the Japanese shipping line is teaming up with two Finnish entities, to complete concept design of an LNG-powered Capesize bulk carrier and a very large crude oil tanker in a project also aimed at easy conversion for other future fuels such ammonia.

The partners from Finland are the Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI) and a company called Finnish Elomatic Oy.

A concept design of an ammonia fuel-ready LNG-fuelled vessel (ARLFV) includes ship specifications such as overall length and width, load capacity, voyage distance and ship speed.

The joint project participants listed the main challenges in designing and developing the ARLFVs .

Firstly, because of the lower energy density of ammonia compared with LNG, a larger fuel tank capacity is needed to maintain the same level of endurance.

Secondly, the space for cargo loading, as well as the loadable cargo weight, is reduced.

Thirdly, a bigger fuel tank and additional fuel tanks affect a ship’s stability and hull strength.

Fourthly, due to the extreme toxicity of ammonia, ventilation for the ammonia tanks must be designed according to international conventions and domestic laws.

More costs

Furthermore, it was noted that conversion from an LNG-powered vessel to an ammonia-fuelled ship requires additional work periods and costs.

The three - NYK, MTI, and Elomatic - said they had sought solutions to the challenges by research and study of the fuel-tank layout and other specifications of the ship.

“The three companies then completed a concept design that has viable, functional, and safe features,” they added.

“Compared to a conventional LNG-fuelled vessel, the ARLFV in this concept design is expected to feature a conversion-cost reduction of 12 percent for a capsize bulk carrier and 25 percent for a VLCC,” they said.

The next step in the process is for the three to work with shipyards and marine equipment manufacturers on the actual design of the ARLFV based on the concept design.

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