HD Korea Shipbuilding to build world's first ammonia

HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the shipbuilding unit under HD Hyundai, announced Monday that it is set to construct two of the world’s first ammonia-powered medium-sized vessels, with targeted delivery by 2026.

The company said it has decided to adopt a dual-fuel engine using both ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas for two ship orders made by Belgian shipping firm Exmas in March.

The ships, slated for construction at the Hyundai Mipo Shipyard in Ulsan, measure 45,000 cubic meters, classifying them as "medium-sized vessels" by industry standards. They will have the capability to run on ammonia and transport both ammonia and LPG.

These vessels are designed to meet environmental standards, aligning with the International Maritime Organization's carbon reduction objectives for 2030 and 2050.

Ammonia, as a fuel, offers environmental benefits. It's a carbon-neutral substance that emits no carbon dioxide when combusted. Its transport and storage advantages make it an attractive sustainable fuel alternative.

In 2020, HD Korea Shipbuilding received certification for ammonia dual-fuel engines from Britain's Lloyd's Register. The following year, the company pioneered the development of the world’s first ammonia fuel supply system.

The company has explored alternative fuels beyond ammonia. In August 2021, the firm secured an order for the world's first methanol-powered megasized container vessel. And in July this year, they launched the initial methanol-powered container ship from the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.