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Development path of ammonia powered ships with different characteristics in China, South Korea, Japan and Europe


The "getting to zero coalition", composed of many leading enterprises in maritime, energy, finance, infrastructure and other industries, mentioned an important trend of "green shipping" in its "report on maritime zero emission pilot demonstration project (Second Edition)" - the R & D and application development of ammonia fuel power system industry has attracted more attention. The report suggests that the number of large-scale ammonia projects related to shipping emission reduction will increase by 10 in 2020 alone, and the total number of demonstration projects will reach 14. This shows that the use of ammonia fuel is an important means to promote zero carbon emission from ships.

The reason why ammonia is considered as a feasible zero carbon fuel is that the characteristics of high boiling point (- 33 ° C) are suitable for transportation in an appropriate low temperature environment, and the transportation convenience of the transaction process is strong; Second, there are sufficient production and storage / filling facilities. The global ammonia production is expected to reach 150 million tons in 2050. About 120 ports are equipped with large-scale ammonia storage facilities, which lays a foundation for its use as ocean clean fuel; The third is that the market price derived from the increase of production capacity and the decrease of marginal production cost decreases. For this reason, some powerful shipping powers have promoted the development of ammonia powered ships in effective ways.

Europe "adapts measures to local conditions"

After two industrial revolutions, Europe's pursuit of urban development is pure. Many Europeans have a strong sense of environmental protection. This concept is also directly mapped to the shipping industry. The core of green ships lies in the main engine, and Europe is in a leading position in the field of designing and manufacturing high-performance engines. When it comes to the reasons why Europe started early in green shipping, Li Ruinan, an engineer of the ship standardization research center of China shipbuilding industry comprehensive technical and Economic Research Institute, believes that it is not only the leading technology, "but also thanks to the rich experience accumulated in supporting equipment and strong industrial competitiveness in this field."

At the beginning of last year, w ä rtsil ä launched ammonia combustion test to help the industry achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships. "The first test has achieved satisfactory results, and we will continue to optimize combustion parameters to provide shipowners with engines and fuel systems they need." Wartsila said in a statement that the company is also working to obtain part of the ammonia storage and supply system of the shipfc project funded by the EU horizon 2020 program, The purpose is to prove the feasibility of long-distance navigation with ammonia dynamic force. Wartsila mainly carries out research on synthetic methane, ammonia, hydrogen and Methanol Fuels in the field of medium and high-speed engines. It is expected that the proportion of ammonia in the ammonia mixed fuel engine will reach 70%, and the pure ammonia fuel engine will be launched in 2023. Zhao Yiyu, senior engineer of China shipbuilding industry comprehensive technical and Economic Research Institute, also said that Europe pays more attention to engine research and development, and man has participated in the development of zero emission ships in many shipyards. In April this year, Lenovo shipping cooperated with deltamarin, a ship design company, to launch an "Aurora class" zero emission vehicle transport ship, which is equipped with man's multi fuel engine and can use ammonia fuel with slight modification. At present, the global ammonia fuel powered ships (mainly container ships, oil tankers, bulk carriers and other mainstream ship types and liquefied gas ships) are in the R & D stage. However, shipping enterprises and shipyards in China, Japan and South Korea generally cooperate with European engine manufacturers. In short, Europe focuses on the supporting equipment industry for green ships, which has also firmly supported the development of global green ships.

Although a series of stringent environmental protection measures issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) forced relevant enterprises to pay attention to the use of ammonia fuel, the EU, some European governments, scientific research institutes and universities are willing to provide important financial support for project research. For example, the EU injected nearly 2.2 billion euros into 140 key transportation projects through the "connect European facilities" (CEF) program, And invested about 142 million euros to support the R & D and use of green fuels, including many ammonia related projects. As we all know, Europe is more like a close consortium of countries. The sense of integration permeates all fields, and the competitors seem to be limited to outside Europe. This "joint" feature allows Europe to easily launch a "green network". For example, some projects have covered aspects such as ammonia production methods, ammonia plant construction, ammonia fuel use, ammonia power ship research and development, etc. The 100 MW wind power electrolysis plant project jointly developed by Yara group and Ø rsted aims to synthesize ammonia by replacing fossil hydrogen with renewable hydrogen. This innovative cooperation can produce 75000 tons of green ammonia per year, thus providing more opportunities for ammonia for ships. This is not only a unique decarbonization project, but also a strategic investment in Europe - to establish a new value chain for green ammonia. "At present, the maritime industry is exploring several key issues, such as the construction of alternative energy industrial chain and new clusters, the carbon footprint and carbon neutralization scheme of industrial chain, and the feasibility demonstration of the application of new energy technologies." Li Ruinan said that these areas need the joint efforts of the energy industry, shipping and shipping industry, and the European joint development model has certain advantages.

Research and development of China South Korea fali ship type

"There are relatively few ammonia powered ship type development projects in Europe. In contrast, many shipyards in China and South Korea are at the forefront, and the design of many ship types has been approved in principle (AIP) by the classification society," said Zhao Yiyu. In 2019, the 180000 ton ammonia powered bulk carrier designed by Shanghai Shipbuilding Research and Design Institute and the 23000 TEU ammonia powered container ship designed by Dalian shipbuilding industry group Co., Ltd. in conjunction with man company were approved in principle, which is a pioneering measure in the development of green ships and clean energy applications in China, It is also the key for the maritime community to explore and test ammonia fuel as a large-scale power. In the last two years, the ammonia powered vlgc and MGC developed by Jiangnan Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. have also obtained the AIP certificate. In early August 2021, Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. successfully obtained the AIP certificate for the newly developed 210000 ton bulk carrier with ammonia power. The ship type was independently developed and designed by China, equipped with corresponding ammonia fuel storage and supply system, optimized the ship line type, general layout, hull structure, fuel tank and equipment configuration, and carried out risk identification analysis (HAZID), To ensure the safe use of ammonia fuel during navigation.

In order to achieve the "3060" goal (achieve "carbon peak" by 2030 and "carbon neutralization" by 2060), we must innovate the application of technology. The above examples also show that China mainly focuses on the research and development of ship types related to ammonia power, and some ship types are the first in the world. Some industry experts believe that this reflects the importance of our government guiding large enterprises to innovate, apply and develop independently. "Relying solely on the strength of the market is not enough to highlight the core competitiveness. We must make a macro overall plan from the national strategic level, and two forces are the best method." China has the world's largest shipbuilding group and shipping enterprises, whose design of ammonia powered ships and use of ammonia fuel will play a very strong role in promoting the development of China's green ship industry chain.

In terms of ammonia fuel engine technology, the 711 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Corporation has carried out research on multiple combined combustion organization paths such as airway low-pressure injection, in cylinder high-pressure injection, precombustion chamber ignition and in cylinder diesel ignition, and completed ammonia fuel supply and injection system, ammonia engine safety, corrosion resistance of ammonia related parts Research on key technologies such as integrated control of ammonia engine is expected to have demonstration application conditions in 2025.

Modern Weipu shipbuilding, Daewoo shipbuilding, Samsung Heavy Industries and other enterprises have also carried out the design of ammonia powered oil tankers and container ships, such as 50000 ton ammonia powered Mr oil tankers, 85000-125000 ton Suez ammonia powered oil tankers, 115000 ton afra ammonia powered oil tankers and 23000 TEU ammonia powered container ships. In order to meet the strong demand for ammonia fuel for future shipping, Korea shipbuilding ocean has signed an agreement with Lotte precision chemistry, Lotte logistics, POSCO, modern merchant shipping and Korea classification society to lead the ammonia transportation and fuel filling of green ships and green shipping.

Although it is not a big news to develop some ammonia related technical standards, it is the first time that a number of global leading enterprises in the same country have signed an agreement covering the whole value chain of ammonia fuel. According to the agreement, all parties will share their own ammonia fuel production and distribution infrastructure, as well as shipbuilding and shipping information. Korean shipbuilding and marine company is responsible for the development of ammonia powered ships and ammonia fuel bunkering ships, modern merchant shipping and Lotte logistics are responsible for ship operation, and Lotte precision chemistry is responsible for the transportation and storage of ammonia produced by POSCO in overseas plants. Li Ruinan said: "although South Korea has not announced a clear maritime emission reduction action plan yet, combined with industry news, it can be seen that it is studying methods to reduce ship carbon emissions around the whole life cycle, cooperating to build a maritime transportation industry chain of ammonia fuel, and seizing the first opportunity for the development of ammonia powered ships and ammonia fuel industry."

Japanese projects have obvious characteristics

"Objectively speaking, Japan has undertaken a lot of international work related to greenhouse gas emission reduction in the shipping industry, and Japan's emission reduction actions reflect the characteristics of 'top-down'. According to the design requirements of each time node, it defines the main tasks and promotes the implementation of the industry from the top-level design objectives. Japan has put forward two technical paths, one of which is to expand the use of ammonia (and hydrogen) in ships Wait for zero carbon fuel, "said Li Ruinan.

In 2020, the Ministry of land, resources and transportation of Japan issued the zero emission roadmap for shipping in Japan, which established key pilot projects and key technologies for the full introduction of alternative fuel for ship power around 2028, including accelerating the pilot of dual fuel engine project and realizing the goal of applying ammonia / hydrogen fuel to small coastal ships by 2026 through trial use. With the improvement of technology, Expand the application to large ocean going ships and strive to realize commercial shipping by 2028. Based on the assumption that ammonia is used as the core marine fuel, Japan has designed an 80000 ton ammonia power concept bulk carrier. In order to overcome the problem of poor flammability of ammonia, the ship will use pilot fuel to help stabilize ignition. According to the model calculation, the concept ship can reduce the carbon dioxide emission by 91.9% compared with the traditional bulk carrier of the same tonnage.

Although Japan lags behind China and South Korea in the research and development of ammonia powered ships, there are also some bright spot projects. In addition to cooperating in the research and development of ammonia floating storage and regasification barges, Japan Post ship and Japan United shipbuilding (JMU) will also promote the commercial use of ammonia fuel ammonia transport ships using ammonia as the main fuel. The former is equipped with floating storage and regasification facilities dedicated to ammonia, which helps the industry to introduce ammonia fuel as soon as possible, and uses barges as substitutes for land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.) to stabilize the supply of ammonia fuel; The latter can use ammonia in the cargo as marine fuel, which will help ocean going ships achieve the goal of zero carbon emission as soon as possible.

When it comes to Japan's ammonia powered ship project, one has to be mentioned because it defines the construction time, which is unprecedented in China and South Korea. On April 30, 2020, five Japanese shipbuilding enterprises announced to cooperate with Mann to develop ammonia powered ships. They not only decided to develop ammonia powered ships, but also comprehensive projects such as ship operation, ammonia fuel introduction and supply equipment. Their goal is to commercialize ammonia powered ships in 2024 and launch Japanese industry standards before China and South Korea.

To some extent, Japan's green ship development strategy seems to combine the advantages of China and South Korea - both the main promotion of the government and the alliance of enterprises, and the involvement of consortia makes the Japanese style more obvious. In 2019, Japan established the "green ammonia Consortium", which is composed of representatives from the public and private sectors. It mainly discusses the marine transportation of ammonia as power generation fuel used by power companies and the use of ammonia as marine fuel, aiming to build an ammonia fuel supply chain covering procurement, production, transportation, storage, utilization and finance, Solve the technical obstacles of introducing and expanding the use of ammonia as fuel.

In terms of layout of ammonia industrial chain, Japan is also ahead of Asian countries - consortia and shipping enterprises cooperate with domestic and foreign enterprises and relevant governments to promote the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Singapore is one of the largest marine fuel filling stations in the world. Not long ago, Itochu consortium signed a memorandum of understanding with four companies, including Mitsui and Vopak, to jointly develop a fuel supply network for ammonia powered ships in Singapore in order to supply ammonia fuel for ocean going ships. Among them, "Itochu Consortium" will use its experience and expertise in fuel supply and distribution and the tracking record of ship fuel supply to promote the development of ammonia fuel supply chain in Singapore. Using its experience in the construction and operation of fuel bunkering vessels, merchant marine Mitsui is responsible for the development of ammonia fuel bunkering vessels and floating storage facilities, while Fubao focuses on the development of independent onshore ammonia storage / treatment and handling facilities by using its ammonia storage and treatment technology at banyan Wharf in Singapore port.

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