A contract with Keihin Dock (an NYK Group company) that outlines the modification of a tugboat to run on ammonia fuel has been concluded by NYK Line.
The tugboat – named Sakigake – is currently fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and operated by NYK Group company Shin-Nippon Kaiyosha Corporation in Tokyo Bay. The vessel is scheduled to be converted to operate on ammonia fuel by 2024.
The new project is part of the development of vessels equipped with a domestically produced ammonia-fueled engine, which was initiated by NYK and IHI Power Systems (IPS) in October 2021 as part of the Green Innovation Fund Project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.
By using ammonia as a fuel, vessels can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as CO2 is not emitted when ammonia is combusted. Furthermore, zero emissions could also be achievable throughout the fuel lifecycle by using CO2 -free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia. Due to this, NYK and IPS will continue with R&D to enable early social implementation.
During the development process, several design challenges were overcome – without changing the size of a traditional tugboat. An Approval in Principle was subsequently granted by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) in July 2022.
Modification of the vessel will be carried out by NYK in FY2023 with the aim of demonstration operations beginning in Japan’s Port of Yokohama in FY2024.