CLASSIFICATION society RINA and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute have signed a joint development project agreement to develop a ground-breaking ship design capable of being fuelled by either ammonia or methanol.

Within the Agreement, SDARI will focus on the ship concept development and design while RINA will verify the compliance with the applicable rules, including those for the use of alternative fuels.

The selected ship type is a tanker but the project, which is the first to investigate using both methanol and ammonia in this type of vessel, will increase understanding of the application of both fuels within the shipping industry with opportunities to apply designs to different types of ships.

External support to the project will be provided by fuel innovator MAN Energy Solutions.

Giosuè Vezzuto, executive vice president marine at RINA, said, “Ship designs have come a long way in their efficiency, but to meet targets for reduced emissions we need to look to alternative fuels.


“A ship specifically designed and optimised for using ammonia and methanol as fuels offers a future proof, environmentally sustainable solution.

“This is an important milestone within the RINA set of initiatives on innovation and energy transition towards the compliance with IMO 2030 and IMO 2050.”

Wang Gang Yi, vice president of SDARI, said, “SDARI will always invest important resources into R&D, producing more efficient ship concepts and designs and using innovative energy sources”.

While two-stroke engine technology will likely retain its influence within deep-sea shipping for the foreseeable future, ammonia and methanol are fuels with a lot of potential as clean, zero-carbon.