Wartsila and SHI to develop ammonia-fueled engines

Finnish tech group Wartsila and South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries are joining forces to develop ammonia-fuelled vessels with 4-stroke auxiliary engines.

In that regard, the two firms have signed a joint development agreement in July this year as they “recognize the importance of future carbon-free fuels in the marine industry’s drive towards decarbonization,” according to a statement by Wartsila.

Wartsila has already successfully tested an engine running with a fuel mix containing 70 percent ammonia. The company anticipates having an engine concept capable of operating with 100 percent ammonia in 2023.

According to SHI, the most likely initial newbuild targets for ships utilizing ammonia fuel would be container vessels and very large crude carriers, operating with 2-stroke main engines and 4-stroke Wartsila auxiliary engines.

“The adoption of a new generation of carbon-free fuels is central to a decarbonized future for shipping, so this JDP agreement represents an important step forward,” Osten Lindell, sales director, Wartsila marine power, said.

“There is a lot of interest from owners and operators in the potential for new clean-burning fuels,” Youngkyu Ahn, vice president at SHI, said.

He added ammonia could be among “the most promising” of these candidates.

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