NYK Line, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd. (NSY), and IHI Corporation (IHI) (hereinafter “the parties”) received an Approval in Principle (AiP) on December 26, 2022 from ClassNK for an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).
Background of A-FSRB development
generation fuel that contributes to global warming countermeasures. In Japan, technological development is underway for fuel ammonia mixed combustion power generation at coal-fired power plants as an innovative next-generation thermal power generation technology that contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. On the other hand, when using ammonia in existing thermal power plants, there are issues such as the problem of securing land for new onshore facilities including storage tanks and regasification facilities, and the large initial investment cost.
An A-FSRB is an offshore floating facility that can receive and store ammonia that has been transported via ship as a liquid, warm and regasify ammonia according to demand, and then send it to a pipeline onshore. An A-FSRB offers the advantages of shorter construction time and lower costs in comparison to construction of onshore storage tanks and regasification plants. In fact, the A-FSRB is expected to speed up the adoption of fuel ammonia and contribute to its wider use as a lower-environmental-impact next-generation fuel.
At this time, there are no international regulations for floating storage and regasification facilities when the cargo is ammonia, and it is expected that the unique requirements of ammonia will have to be reflected in the design. Therefore, the parties and ClassNK conducted a comprehensive risk identification of various contingencies and worked to identify technical issues from the initial study stage. A risk identification was conducted using the gap analysis method, which identifies differences between conventional ships and offshore floating facilities (heavy oil, LNG, etc.) and evaluates the impact of such differences.
As a result, the parties extracted items for future technical studies of possible accidental incidents and differences between conventional ships and offshore floating facilities and obtained an AiP from ClassNK. This is the world’s first acquisition of an AiP for an A-FSRB handling ammonia as cargo.
The parties will continue to study the arrangement and introduction of A-FSRBs with electric power companies, which are expected to be the main users of A-FSRBs, and to study legal compliance. Additionally, the parties will work on economic evaluation in parallel.
Reference: NYK LINE
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