Wartsila to study engines that can run on ammonia and LNG
Maritime-focused Finnish technology group Wartsila said November 2 it will start working with Norway’s Simon Mokster Shipping to develop engines fuelled by a combination of ammonia and LNG.
Both companies said they would embark on a feasibility study for engines that would run primarily on ammonia, but utilise LNG when it is available as an alternative.
“We see this as a step towards meeting our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and our ambition is to cut our fleet’s CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030,” said Anne Jorunn Mokster, the CEO of the Norwegian shipping firm. “By 2050 we expect to reach net-zero carbon emissions.”
While the fossil fuel industry is pivoting to a cleaner future, the shipping industry got a head start with the launch of a protocol advanced by the International Maritime Organisation, dubbed IMO 2020 for its January 2020 inauguration date.
IMO 2020 calls on shippers to look to low-sulphur fuels and other alternatives to lower the emissions from their exhaust systems, or install devices known as scrubbers that would filter emissions on board.
“We are leading the way towards the adoption of alternative cleaner future marine fuels through extensive testing and research, and we see ammonia as an extremely promising option,” Cato Espero, the head of Norwegian sales for Wartsila, said.
Wartsila in September signed a joint agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries 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.
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.