Korean Register, DSME collaborate on eco-friendly ship propulsion systems

Korean Register (KR) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) will be working closely together to develop new propulsion systems capable of handling green fuels including ammonia and hydrogen.

On 7 September, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly collaborate at Gastech 2022, Milan, Italy. The move follows announcements that KR would be jointly developing a liquefied CO2 carrier with DSME.

Whilst the global maritime industry is introducing operational measures such as limiting engine output and installing energy-saving devices to meet stringent greenhouse gas regulations, in the longer term, green fuels will be needed to achieve substantial emission reductions.

There is a high level of market interest in propulsion systems and materials for operating with green fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen and methanol.

Ammonia and hydrogen, widely recognized as green alternatives, but are considered to have more sensitive characteristics than commonly used LNG fuels. To be used as a marine fuel, extra technical requirements need to be addressed. These include the toxicity of ammonia, hydrogen embrittlement, cryogenic conditions equivalent to -253 ° C, diffusion characteristics, as well as ensuring the same level of safety as existing ships.

This joint research agreement between the two parties will build on the unique strengths and accumulated technology of each company.

DSME aims to commercialize ammonia-powered container ships by 2025 based on its advanced technology, and is at an advanced stage in developing eco-friendly fuel technologies, including low-carbon ammonia carriers and liquefied CO2 carriers.

KR has also been actively seeking better options for decarbonization pathways. As well as publishing guidelines for ammonia-fueled ships, the classification society is developing its own hydrogen-powered ship rules and is working on enhanced decarbonization initiatives to ensure ship safety and a greener future.

Dong-kyu Choi, Head of DSME’s R&D Institute, said: “The added value of eco-friendly ship propulsion technologies is expected to increase further in the future amid the strengthening of environmental regulations. Besides this collaboration with KR, we will continue to develop advanced eco-friendly ship propulsion technology and strive to speed up the commercialization of decarbonized ships.”

Dae-heon Kim, Executive Vice President of KR R&D division, said: “Gastech 2022 was a great opportunity to showcase our technical strength and efforts. The joint agreement with DSME is significant in preparing for the future of green fuels in the long term. We will do our best to support the technology needed to deliver a low emissions shipping industry.”

Photo credit: Pixabay/StartupStockPhotos

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