Seaspan Corporation and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping Receive Approval in Principle from ABS for Ammonia-Fueled Container Vessel


Vancouver, July 26, 2023 – Seaspan Corporation, in collaboration with the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMMCZCS) and Foreship, has been granted Approval in Principle (AiP) by the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for the design of a 15,000 TEU ammonia-powered container vessel. The certificates were presented at the MMMCZCS office in Copenhagen on July 28th, 2023.

Recognizing the potential of ammonia as a promising alternative marine fuel, Seaspan and MMMCZCS embarked on a joint project in 2022 to explore the challenges and opportunities of designing a sizeable ammonia-fueled container vessel. The project involved close collaboration with renowned ship designer Foreship and the classification society ABS, resulting in the developing of a concept design for a 15,000 TEU container vessel. The project included defining the safety objective, the impact of ammonia as a fuel on vessel performance, completing a hazard identification qualitative risk assessment, and developing the concept design. Documentation included a fuel range and endurance analysis, ammonia tank and system location assessments, general arrangement, main machinery and electrical system design, and initial vessel stability calculations.

This groundbreaking initiative is closely linked to the Singapore Ammonia Bunkering Feasibility Study (SABRE) consortium, which aims to establish an ammonia supply chain in Singapore. Phase 1 of the study focused on a comprehensive technical and commercial feasibility analysis of ammonia bunkering in Singapore, including a preliminary design for an ammonia bunkering vessel. Phase 2 will concentrate on advancing the commercial feasibility of the project, ensuring contractual terms across the supply chain are well-prepared for establishing an ammonia bunkering operation.  The 15,000 TEU vessel was designed as a potential receiver of ammonia fuel from bunker vessels currently under design and development.

Torsten Pedersen, Chief Operating Officer at Seaspan, stated,

“Developing an ammonia-fueled vessel is a key step in decarbonizing the maritime sector and is part of our decarbonization strategy. Combining our knowledge and experience of designing and operating container ships with major partners at the MMMCZCS ensures a safe and practical ammonia-fueled design for the container sector, providing confidence for ammonia suppliers and original equipment manufacturers to invest in this fuel.”

Speaking on the presentation of the AiP, Peter Jackson, Vice-President Projects & Technology at Seaspan, added,

“This is a perfect example of industry collaboration, where leading maritime organizations work together and take tangible steps to decarbonize the maritime industry. Ammonia is a promising future marine fuel, and this project is a vital and significant step in developing and realizing ammonia-powered containerships.”

A report detailing the concept design, how the ammonia safety case was developed, and outcomes from the risk assessment will be published by MMMCZCS later this year. The potential commercialization of the vessel design concept based on technology and shipyard readiness will be the focus of the next stage of this project.

About Seaspan Corporation
Seaspan is the largest global containership lessor, primarily focused on long-term, fixed-rate leases with the world’s largest container shipping liners. As of December 31, 2022, Seaspan’s operating fleet consisted of 132 vessels with a total capacity of 1,219,080 TEU and an additional 58 vessels under construction, increasing total fleet capacity to 1,919,080 TEU on a fully delivered basis.  For more information, visit

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 the decarbonization of the global maritime industry.

This complex challenge requires unprecedented collaboration across sectors, industries, and geographies. 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. For more information, please visit

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 the 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.  For more information, please visit

About Foreship
Foreship is a highly respected, independent ship design and engineering company that has developed an unrivaled breadth of services since its formation in 2002. With more than 80 employees located in nine offices worldwide, the Foreship team of Naval Architects, Marine Engineers, and Sustainability Specialists has provided concept and project design, consultation, and project management for some of the industry’s highest-profile new buildings and completed over 1,200 conversions, to turn clients’ ideas into reality. Foreship’s vision is to become a world leader in sustainability solutions for all ship types, supporting ship owners and operators to achieve their net zero goals using future technologies and alternative fuels. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Cailey Murphy
Head of Corporate Communications
Seaspan Corporation
[email protected]

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