Wartsila, Samsung to develop ammonia-powered vessels
Finnish maritime services company Wartsila said September 22 that it signed a joint agreement with a Korean shipbuilder to develop ammonia-powered vessels.
Wartsila and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) agreed to develop newbuilds that could run on ammonia. Similar to blue hydrogen, ammonia is produced using a steam reformation process with fossil fuels. As a fuel, ammonia burns free of CO2.
“Both parties recognise the importance of future carbon-free fuels in the marine industry’s drive towards decarbonisation,” they said.
The maritime shipping industry is looking for clean fuel alternates to meet emission protocols set up by the International Maritime Organisation. Wartsila in July said it will provide engine generating sets, which will run on a hydrogen and natural gas blend, for a Keppel Offshore & Marine floating testbed in Singapore.
Wartsila is claiming a pole position with its energy development, saying it has already tested an engine that can run on a fuel mix containing 70% ammonia. It anticipates having a concept for an engine that can run entirely on ammonia ready by 2023.
“There is a lot of interest from owners and operators in the potential for new clean-burning fuels, and ammonia is thought to be among the most promising of these candidates,” Youngkyu Ahn, a senior vice president at SHI, said.
Separately, Wartsila said it was a signatory to a call to action for broad-based decarbonisation in the shipping industry, a call that will be delivered to the upcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow.
“The signatories urge world leaders to align shipping with the Paris Agreement temperature goal, and to fully decarbonise shipping using net-zero energy sources by 2050,” Wartsila stated.