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Ship-based ammonia system gains approval

SOUTH KOREA: A new ammonia-based ship HVACR system developed by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has been approved in principle by ABS, the marine classification company.

The use of ammonia has been primarily limited to land-based systems due to concerns regarding flammability and toxicity. A number of measures have been included to ensure the safety of the system, including the installation of a separate dedicated space for ammonia refrigeration, as well as the establishment of gas detectors, alarms, and an emergency air ventilation system to address the risk of ammonia leaks.

In order to minimise costs, the company has positioned the ammonia refrigeration units in close proximity to the HVAC air conditioning system, which is located in the living area of the seafarers.

ABS used its marine vessel rules to conduct technical suitability reviews of the designs, materials, fire and personnel safety equipment, piping, electrical, operations tests and risk assessments.

The system has previously won an approval in principle for the system from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a US quality assurance and risk management company.

“ABS has always been a safety pioneer, so we are well placed to tackle the challenges on board and ashore presented by ammonia’s toxicity and flammability. ABS is committed to leading the industry in supporting ammonia’s safe adoption at sea,” said Panos Koutsourakis, ABS vice president, global sustainability.

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