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Hyundai Will Design Ammonia FSRU to Develop Import Industry

ammonia FSRU to support adoption of ammonia
Koreans will be competing again the Japanese shipping industry which is also studying the concept of ammonia FSRUs (Mitsubishi)

Published Dec 8, 2022 6:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and its shipbuilding division Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering are looking to build early expertise in the handling of ammonia anticipating a rapidly emerging market in the coming years. Working on projects, including one with the Korea National Oil Corporation, they look to develop systems for the handling of the import of ammonia including the first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) designed specifically for the unique challenges of handling ammonia.

The companies point to the continued global interest in ammonia both as a potential fuel for industries or as an energy carrier. They point out that in addition to the shipping industry there are other anticipated uses of ammonia. For example, they highlight that ammonia can be used with coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions.

KSOE and KNOC will work together on the development of the systems needed to important handle ammonia. One of the projects will focus on the storage and transmission of ammonia in an effort for KNOC.

FSRUs have become an increasingly popular tool especially as European countries worked to build import capabilities as they worked to replace Russian gas imports. The shipyard group cites the low construction cost, a shorter construction period, and no need to develop large installation sites as among the benefits that have placed FSRUs in such high demand for LNG. The FSRUs are providing the ability to store and regasify liquefied gas improved internationally and then linking to existing onshore transmission networks to supply it to land-based customers.

“This joint development of ammonia-FSRU is significant in that it is a preparation for leading technology in the future eco-friendly energy field,” said Jeon Seung-ho, head of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ technology headquarters. We will try,” he said.

They believe the same elements that made FSRUs in strong demand for natural gas will also apply to the anticipated ammonia market. They also point out that an ammonia-FSRU would address the challenges of handling ammonia which is highly toxic and requires special handling versus traditional gasses sued for energy.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Group will focus on the development of a regasification system for imported ammonia. Working with KNOC they are also focusing on a clean ammonia acquisition and storage infrastructure project with technical information provided by the Korea National Oil Corporation. Lloyd’s Register will also be participating in reviewing and approving the design specifications for the ammonia FSRU.

Another division of the Hyundai Group, HDC Hyundai Industrial Development, is also one of nine companies working together to develop a new industrial pier equipped with large ammonia storage tanks. It will have facilities to handle liquid cargo ship berthing at the terminal which will be created approximately 50 miles outside Seoul. When completed in 2030, the pier will be able to handle two million tons of ammonia per year.

Early in 2022, Japan’s Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Mitsui O.S.K. reported that they were also studying the possibility of adopting the successful FSRU concept for the use of ammonia. They concluded that the FSRUs concept applied to ammonia would contribute to the wider use of the next-generation fuel. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, MOL, and The Kansai Electric Power Co. concluded are also conducting a study exploring the opportunities for introducing ammonia FSRUs in various regions of the world.