BV releases “Ammonia-Prepared” class notation

Image: BV

Posted on May 6, 2021

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has released an “Ammonia-Prepared” notation and has developed a rule note for ammonia as a marine fuel to support shipowners, designers, shipyards, and charterers in advancing their plans to use ammonia in a zero carbon future.

Ammonia-Prepared is applicable to newbuilds and certifies that a ship has been designed and constructed to be converted to use ammonia as fuel at a later date.

The notation targets the spaces and structural components that will accommodate future ammonia fuel tanks, fuel handling equipment and ammonia vapor treatment installations.

Ammonia-Prepared also covers specific requirements for the conversion of engines and boilers from using fuel oil, LNG or multiple fuels to ammonia.

The notation was developed in collaboration with different stakeholders including ship owners, equipment makers, designers and shipyards building on our expertise across the value chain.

Ammonia-Prepared is a prelude to a full BV Rule Note on ammonia as fuel: NR 671. It will primarily concern the safety aspects of managing ammonia in storage tanks, fuel-piping systems, and during bunkering.

Through the new notation and guidelines, Bureau Veritas aims to helps address the challenges of using ammonia in the shipping industry:

  • Its lower energy density compared to other fuels—about half that of LNG and about a third of fuel oil;
  • Its comparatively poor combustibility properties; and
  • Its toxicity, requiring stringent measures to protect crew and/or passengers from exposure.

Bureau Veritas recently issued an Ammonia-Prepared approval in principle to GTT related to containment of ammonia in membrane MARK III tanks.

“Ammonia is considered a key fuel on the road to the IMO’s 2030 and 2050 GHG and carbon reduction targets,” said Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas. “We are working to advance its safe development and are currently involved in joint industry projects to assess the risks of ammonia. The release of these new notations is a major step to help shipowners, designers, shipyards and charterers make progress in their sustainability journeys and inform their future investments.”

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