MAERSK Tankers has put in an order for up to 10 very large ammonia carriers with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui is to join as a co-investor for the first four vessels, which will be operated by Maersk Tankers.

Maersk Tankers said many clean ammonia projects under development will require seaborne transportation.

The newbuilds of 93,000 cubic metres will be among the largest ammonia carriers in operation, capable of carrying a full cargo of ammonia, the company said.

The first four firm very large ammonia carriers are due to be delivered from late 2026 onwards. The contract includes options for an additional six vessels.

Maersk Tankers is working with MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine Machine Division to make the vessels capable of running on clean ammonia. However, a decision to install ammonia-capable engines requires both regulatory and customer support.

The vessels will hold classification from American Bureau of Shipping.

Maersk Tankers CEO Tina Revsbech said concrete actions are needed for the tanker industry to progress the energy transition.

“In Maersk Tankers, we want to play our part in making transportation of clean energy a reality,” she said.

“We are building on our legacy of operating gas carriers to offer a crucial transportation service that will aid the transition. With this initiative, we will be able to service clean ammonia producers and users in many parts of the world with highly energy efficient and safe ships.”

Mitsui general manager of the marine solution business division Kensuke Kubota said: “Mitsui will leverage its expertise and experience in the shipping industry as well as in energy and chemicals to accelerate the transportation of ammonia which we see as one of the promising options for sources of next generation energy.”