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Three companies to put ammonia-fueled tugboat into practical use

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NYK, IHI Power Systems and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) have signed a joint research and development agreement to put the world’s first ammonia-fueled tugboat into practical use.

With the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2016, global momentum for decarbonization has increased, and reducing GHG emissions has become an issue in the shipping sector.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set a goal of halving GHG emissions from the international shipping sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century.

Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen as a raw material for ammonia. Thus, the companies have decided to start this joint R&D for an ammonia-fueled tugboat.

The companies will proceed with R&D from both technical and operational aspects for the introduction of ammonia as a marine fuel for tugboats.

This joint R&D envisions the implementation of ammonia marine fuel in tugboats that require high output, and the companies will firmly establish the technical and operational requirements for that purpose.

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