Press Release | ABS and Lloyd’s Register award new ammonia vessel design approval in principle

Published — June 3, 2024

ABS and Lloyd’s Register award new ammonia vessel design approval in principle

Athens, Greece — The two classification societies, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Lloyd’s Register (LR), have awarded a new ship design of an ammonia-fueled 3,500 TEU container vessel Approval in Principle (AiP). A cross-industry taskforce including A. P. Møller-Mærsk, MAN Energy Solutions, Deltamarin, Eltronic FuelTech, ABS, and LR, and led by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, is behind the new design. The result of this collaborative approach is a milestone in enabling ammonia as an alternative marine fuel.

“To unlock the potential of sustainable ammonia as an alternative, low-emissions marine fuel, we must carefully address the safety issues on board and ensure a safe and healthy working environment for our seafarers and people in ports. The AiP of the new ship design is a major milestone on this journey, as it demonstrates that safety criteria for the application of ammonia as the main fuel is within tolerable levels of industry safety management practices,” says Claus W. Graugaard, Chief Technology Officer, Onboard Vessel Solutions at the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and continues:

“The fact that we have both ABS and LR granting this AiP in parallel is a testimony to the robustness of the design and to the iterative risk assessment and systematic risk management intelligence that have gone into it. This development work has only been possible because all project partners have contributed with innovative thinking and willingness to share knowledge. Collaboration is the fastest way to co-creating the prescriptive rules and innovative solutions we need.”

When awarding an AiP, the classification societies perform a novel technology evaluation to examine all fundamental aspects of the ship design and general compliance with the associated rules/regulations. An AiP is not a regulatory approval, as these are issued by flag state administrations.

Next, the remarks raised on the design will be addressed and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping continues to lead this work looking into extending the project to a second phase with partners including a charterer and ship owner.

“This project is an important step on the road to the wider adoption of ammonia as a marine fuel by the industry. ABS is committed to utilizing our highly specialized technical knowledge and research capabilities to explore viable, safe solutions for our clients’ decarbonization challenges. ABS is proud to contribute to this project team and to the work of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping,” said John McDonald, ABS President and COO.

“Safety remains a critical aspect for the widespread adoption of ammonia as a marine fuel. This AiP demonstrates a clear cross-sector intention to ensure that ambition becomes reality,” commented Andy McKeran, Chief Commercial Officer of Lloyd’s Register. He added: “Through our previous collaborations, including the joint study with the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub into Quantitative Risk Assessment for ammonia ship design, LR has continued to build on its expertise as a trusted adviser to the maritime value chain, enabling us to put the mitigation of risks for ammonia vessels at the heart of our AiP process.”

About the design

The design outlines a commercially viable and safe ammonia-fueled 3,500 TEU container feeder. The focus has been on achieving an adequate level of safety for crew, and at the same time minimizing loss of cargo capacity. The ammonia tank capacity (4,000 m3) was selected for a full roundtrip of relevant trades for this vessel. A. P. Møller-Mærsk has contributed with vast experience on the ship design part; MAN Energy Solutions with engine manufacturer/supplier expertise, as the vessel features the first commercially available ammonia engine; and ABS and LR with safety and statutory standard expertise throughout the design and risk assessment process. The detailed concept design was created by the ship design house Deltamarin, and the detailed fuel system supplier by Eltronic FuelTech. Two flag states, DMA and MPA, participated in the project’s risk assessments.

About AiP

Following extensive HAZID and HAZOP risk analysis, the detailed design package was submitted to the two classification societies for a review in the context of the AiP. The design package entails drawings, calculations, and reports on ship and fuel system design. Following the AiP, the project team will integrate updates and feedback from the two class societies and a summary and project documentation will be issues in a report later this year which will be publicly available free of charge on the website of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.

Media Contacts

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping
Jesper Ravnborg -

Jennifer Mire -

Lloyd's Register
Nicola Good -

About ABS

ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.

About Lloyd’s Register

Trusted maritime advisers, partnering with clients to drive performance across the ocean economy.

Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global professional services group specialising in marine engineering and technology. With a heritage going back more than 260 years to the establishment of the world’s first marine classification society, LR is dedicated to setting and improving standards for the safety of ships.

Today we are a leading provider of classification and compliance services to the marine and offshore industries, helping our clients design, construct and operate their assets to accepted levels of safety and environmental compliance. We also provide advice, support and solutions on fleet performance, fleet optimisation and voyage optimisation, enhancing our clients’ digital capabilities. Our digital solutions are relied upon by more than 20,000 vessels.

In the race to zero emissions, our research, technical expertise and industry-firsts are supporting a safe, sustainable maritime energy transition.

Lloyd’s Register Group is wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a politically and financially independent global charity that promotes safety and education.

Find out more

About the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMMCZCS) is an independent, not-for-profit research and development center established in 2020 with funding from the A.P. Moller Foundation. Our purpose is to guide and accelerate decarbonization of the global maritime industry.

Working with our partners, governments, authorities, public sector bodies, scientists, and organizations across the global maritime industry we aim to inform, de-risk decision-making, and spark real climate action.

We are technology agnostic and have no vested interest in specific decarbonization solutions. We explore free of commercial considerations and independent of partner strategies. As a result, we deliver independent analyses of how the transition is progressing and clear, data-driven recommendations for accelerating maritime decarbonization. On top we are maturing solutions to the most pressing problems across the maritime value chain, from fuels to onboard solutions, regulations, and financing.

For more information and overview of partners, please visit