Kawasaki Heavy Industry’s 86,700 m3, LPG and “liquefied ammonia gas” (LAG) carrier has been ordered for the fifth time in 2021. K Line, Eneos (two vessels) and now NYK (also two vessels) will take delivery of the VLGCs from KHI’s Sakaide shipyards in 2023 (K Line and Eneos), and 2024 (NYK). The flexibility of the dual-purpose LPG/ammonia carrier is key to its newfound popularity:
The advantage of this dual-purpose vessel is its capability to simultaneously carry LPG, which is already used as a low-carbon energy source, and NH3, a new fuel contributing to the establishment of a decarbonized society. Another feature is the greater capacity of the cargo tanks as compared to conventional carriers, which was achieved without significantly changing the vessel’s length, breadth, or other main specifications.KHI official press release, 2 Dec 2021
Although these will all be constructed as LPG-fueled vessels, at Ammonia Energy we’ve already reported on the accelerating pace at which retrofit & engine conversion technology packages are being developed, leaving options open for shipowners & operators after they take delivery of the vessel. For their part, NYK recently announced their carbon neutrality intentions, and are part of a high-profile Japanese consortium developing three ammonia-powered vessels.