Japan’s shipping giant NYK Line said it has signed a joint research and development agreement with Nihon Shipyard (NSY), ClassNK, and IHI for the commercialization of an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).
According to a statement by NYK, the partners will work on the R&D of what it says is the world’s first barge equipped with a floating storage and regasification facility for ammonia.
In August 2020, NYK Line, Japan Marine United, which has a 49 percent share of NSY, and ClassNK started joint R&D of an A-FSRB.
However, since the demand for fuel ammonia is expected to increase further in the future, the three parties have concluded a new joint R&D agreement with IHI, an ammonia-related equipment manufacturer, NYK said.
“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,” it said.
The barge offers the advantages of shorter construction time and lower costs in comparison to construction of onshore storage tanks and regasification plants, NYK said.
In fact, the A-FSRB is expected to speed up the adoption of ammonia fuel and contribute to its wider use as a lower-environmental-impact next-generation fuel, according to NYK.
Besides this, NYK is working on several developments related to ammonia.
The firm recently awarded a contract to convert its LNG-powered tugboat Sakigake to run on ammonia.
Earlier this year, NYK and partners also completed the development of a concept design for an ammonia-ready LNG-fueled vessel (ARLFV).