Singapore-based shipping company Phoenix Tankers, a subsidiary of shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a deal with Namura Shipbuilding Co. for the construction of very large gas carriers (VLGC) to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and ammonia.

As disclosed, Namura will construct the VLGCs at its Imari Shipyard(the second vessel is optional) under a technical tie-up with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co.

The newly ordered vessels, which can run on liquified petroleum gas (LPG) are designed to transport ammonia, and are presently the world’s largest-scale ammonia carrier, the company claims.

Furthermore, the 87,000 dwt carriers will be built with an eye toward conversion to ammonia fuelled in the future because LPG and ammonia fuels have similar characteristics, according to MOL.

“LPG, as fuel, can reduce CO2 emissions by about 20%, and SOx, PM, and so on by about 90% in comparison with fuel oil. The new carriers are designed to maximize fuel efficiency, and are … environmental-friendly vessels in conformity with EEDI Phase 3 which will be applicable for VLGCs contracted after 2022,” the company stated.

The units are planned for delivery in succession after 2023.

Japanese shipping heavyweight MOL aims to deploy net-zero emissions ocean-going vessels in the 2020s in line with its environmental vision of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

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Ammonia is drawing attention as a next-generation clean fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned. As a marine fuel, it can be used in both internal combustion engines and fuel cells.

A new study, commissioned by Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU) revealed that ammonia can fully develop its climate protection potential.

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