NYK Soon to Supply Fuel to Ammonia-Powered Tugboat

The NYK Line logo on the side of a vessel
Updated Published

During the At the Sea Japan 2024 event, NYK unveiled its plans to begin supplying fuel ammonia to its soon-to-be-completed ammonia-fueled tugboat ("A-tug") by the end of May. 

This announcement was made during a ceremony on April 10 at the booth of the "GI Foundation for the Development of Ships with Domestic Ammonia-Fueled Engines." Key attendees included Yuichiro Kato from JERA, Hiroshi Adachi from Resonac Corporation, Takeshi Kato from Shin-Nihon Kaiyosha, and Osamu Shimada from Tokyo Power Technology.

In December last year, JERA, Resonac, and NYK formed a partnership to explore the provisioning of fuel ammonia to maritime vessels. Since forming this partnership, the collaborators have worked on developing safe operational practices, systems for the handling and transportation of ammonia within ports, and advocating for regulations that will govern its use as a ship fuel.

As a result of their collaborative efforts, NYK is set to initiate the delivery of fuel ammonia from a tank truck to the A-Tug at Yokohama port at the end of May. This operation, if successful, will be the first instance globally of ammonia being transferred from truck to ship as a marine fuel.

On the same day, an agreement was also made public between Shin Nippon Kaiyosha—an NYK Group company that will operate the A-tug—and JERA for the ongoing supply of fuel ammonia once the tugboat is operational. This agreement signifies a major step towards the broader utilization of fuel ammonia in maritime transport.

The NYK Group has expressed its commitment to continue fostering initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its maritime operations and enhance the international standing of the Japanese Maritime Cluster, particularly in the global maritime industry's push towards decarbonization.