JAPAN’S Ocean Network Express has moved closer to placing orders for ammonia dual-fuel containerships after achieving approval-in-principle for a 3500 TEU prototype.

The new vessel was jointly developed by ONE, Nihon Shipyard and classification society DNV, as part of a joint development project established in late 2022 among the three parties.

ONE has been studying the feasibility of ammonia as an alternative fuel for zero emission according to the roadmap for alternative fuels which was developed by it in 2022. In conjunction with the roadmap, ONE participated in a GCMD-led ammonia bunkering pilot safety study.

“Ammonia is definitely one of the primary focuses of our research as ammonia fuel has a great potential of generating lower GHG emissions than conventional marine fuels. We are pleased to have made such a progress, and we will continue our study on ammonia.” said Koshiro Wake, SVP of the corporate strategy & sustainability department at ONE. 

Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, DNV’s regional manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, Maritime at DNV, said ammonia was one of the promising future marine fuels with great potential to decarbonise shipping.

“We are confident that DNV’s rules for ammonia will help our customers to safely adopt this new fuel type once the infrastructure is in place. We are grateful to our JDP partners for entrusting us with this pioneering project that will help the entire maritime industry to adopt ammonia as a marine fuel,” she said.

ONE said that along with its investment in 12 methanol dual-fuelled vessels, the ammonia AiP marked another milestone on the carrier’s journey towards net-zero by 2050.