Japan’s Sumitomo to work on ammonia-powered bulker

Japan’s Sumitomo is joining forces with compatriot Oshima Shipbuilding to develop an ammonia-fueled dry bulk carrier.

According to a statement by Sumitomo, Oshima Shipbuilding has been manufacturing and selling dry bulk carriers jointly with the firm since 1973.

Under the new project, the two firms would work on the design and development of an ammonia-fueled dry bulk carrier ahead of the world toward completing the ship within 2025, the statement said.

Sumitomo Corporation will design and develop the bulk carrier, improve the navigation environment, and ensure the supply of ammonia as fuel, in cooperation with Oshima Shipbuilding.

This includes external partners as well as the company’s internal cross-organizational project team for ammonia, which Sumitomo had launched this July.

The vessel would be 229 meters long but also 32.26 meters wide, and would have a deadweight of about 80,000 MT, Sumitomo said.

After the completion of the bulk carrier, Sumitomo Corporation would own and operate it, thereby helping users of the ship’s transportation service to reduce their GHG emissions across their supply chains, it said.

Ammonia bunkering in Singapore

Sumitomo said in a separate statement it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Keppel FELS, a unit of Keppel Offshore & Marine, to explore the feasibility and implementation of various ammonia fuel applications in Singapore.

Under this memorandum, Sumitomo and Keppel would work on the implementation of ammonia bunkering in Singapore, with the aim to start commercial operations in the mid-2020s, it said.

The partners would accelerate the development of an ammonia bunkering vessel in coordination with the relevant authorities, expediting the implementation of ammonia bunkering in Singapore and contributing to the realization of zero-carbon shipping, the statement said.

Also, Sumitomo and Keppel would work to expand the ammonia value chain in Singapore, it said.

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