World’s first ammonia dual-fuel Handymax bulker in the making

NYK Bulk & Project Carriers (NBP), a subsidiary of shipping major NYK Group, has joined forces with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO), Oshima Shipbuilding Co. and Sumitomo Corporation to study, design and construct the world’s first ammonia dual-fuel Handymax bulk carrier.

The announcement comes a year after CODELCO, a Chilean state-owned company and one of the world’s biggest copper producers, and NBP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Singapore to jointly study the decarbonized transportation of copper products. Now, a MoU was signed with Oshima Shipbuilding and Sumitomo Corporation.

This would be the first of a fleet of ten to fifteen vessels dedicated to the transport of copper products that NBP would operate from Chile to the Far East. CODELCO and NBP want the vessel to be developed and built by Oshima, which is willing to study this project together with CODELCO and NBP.

“Based on the memorandum of understanding signed with CODELCO on November 24, 2022, NBP has been studying the decarbonization of the oceangoing transportation of copper products with the cooperation of all concerned parties. After about a year of deliberations, NBP and CODELCO have concluded a memorandum of understanding with Oshima Shipbuilding for the research, design, and construction of a Handymax bulk carrier equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can use ammonia as fuel in addition to heavy oil,” Masashi Suda, President, NBP, said.

“At CODELCO, we have the duty to be a leader for more sustainable mining for our country, and this project is a great signal to the other actors as we work to make Chile the first country in the world to demonstrate how an energy transition and GHG emissions reduction are possible,” Máximo Pacheco, Chairman of the Board, CODELCO stated.

As part of its decarbonization efforts, NYK has recently revealed that it started the conversion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled tugboat Sakigake to an ammonia-fueled tugboat at Oppama factory of Keihin Dock Co. The vessel will continue to be operated by Shin-Nihon Kaiyosha to verify its decarbonization effect and operational safety as the world’s first ammonia-fueled vessel.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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