New ammonia-powered vessels: Newcastlemax & Panamax class

By Julian Atchison on January 23, 2022

Rio Tinto & AngloEastern

Rio Tinto and AngloEastern have announced they will develop Newcastlemax class, ammonia-powered bulk carriers. The dry cargo vessels will be the maximum size allowed to dock in the Port of Newcastle, Australia: an important coal & iron ore port in global maritime trade.

Click to read more about AngloEastern’s ammonia-powered designs (and other decarbonisation efforts) in their quarterly news magazine Leadership (Issue 23, Sept 2021). Source: AngloEastern.

Mining giant Rio Tinto will work with K-Line, NS United, Nihon Shipyard and Itochu on a dual-fuel, ammonia-powered bulk carrier. Details are limited, but the announcement represents one of Rio Tinto’s first forays into the ammonia energy space.

And AngloEastern – one of the world’s largest ship management organisations – has received AiP from the American Bureau of Shipping for its new design: a dual-fuel, 210,000m3 dry bulk carrier. The design features two deck-mounted, IMO Class C fuel tanks, and will be able to be applied to retrofits of existing vessels and newbuilds. Both AngloEastern and Rio Tinto are members of an Itochu-led maritime fuel study investigating the use of ammonia.

Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships (GSC)

Launched in December 2020, the GSC is a collaboration between Japan’s biggest shipbuilders and class societies, with the aim of accelerating R&D into “environmentally harmonious” ship designs. This week the GSC’s first-ever ammonia-powered design – a Panamax-class bulk carrier – received approval from ClassNK. The design will be used by GSC’s individual members to inform their own development of ammonia-powered carriers.

China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)

Via its subsidiaries Jiangnan Shipbuilding and the China Shipbuilding Trading Corporation, CSSC will develop two 93,000 m3 ammonia-powered ammonia carrier vessels, with Bureau Veritas granting AiP for the vessel design. Indications are the vessels will be cargo-and-fuel-flexible. Similar to the Newcastlemax and Panamax-class announcements this week, the vessel design features two large, on-deck fuel tanks.