NYK’s ammonia-fuelled tugboat receives ClassNK classification

NYK's ammonia-fuelled tugboat receives ClassNK classification

NYK Line (NYK) and IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd. (IPS) have obtained AiP (Approval in Principle) from Japanese classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) for an ammonia-fueled tugboat – the first of its kind to obtain the classification.

Research and development of this ammonia-powered tugboat is part of the Green Innovation Fund project within Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) adopted in October 2021 for NYK Line and IPS, NYK said.

Both companies believe that using ammonia as a fuel for ships will enable a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during voyages.

Cooperation between the partners began in 2020.

In designing the tugboat, NYK and IPS attempted a design to install ammonia fuel-related equipment in a limited space on board by developing an ammonia fuel engine, selecting equipment, and devising the equipment layout in the design.

As a result, the companies have achieved the design of A-Tug, which overcomes the challenges without changing the size of a conventional tugboat.


Looking at the future, the companies said they will work toward the realisation of a demonstration operation at the port of Yokohama in fiscal 2024 through further studies for construction.

NYK recently signed a business alliance agreement with Nakashima Propeller Co., Ltd (Nakashima Propeller) and Fluid Techno Co., Ltd. (Fluid Techno) to reduce emissions on the company’s dry bulk carriers.

The deal will install energy-saving devices to improve water flow generated at the aft-end of ships.

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