Marine engine progress: 4-stroke hits the market, 2-stroke en-route

Wärtsilä’s 4-stroke ammonia engine now available

Wärtsilä’s commercially available ammonia powered engine solution emits less than 30% of the GHG of a similar-sized diesel engine. Source: Wärtsilä.
Click to learn more. Wärtsilä’s commercially available ammonia powered engine solution emits less than 30% of the GHG of a similar-sized diesel engine. Source: Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä has announced that its 4-stroke, ammonia-fueled marine engine is now commercially available as part of the Wärtsilä 25 engine platform. Viridis Bulk Carriers will be the first shipowner to benefit from the new ammonia solution, and the two organisations are planning to sign a commercial contract in early 2024.

Beyond the engine, Wärtsilä’s technology offerings include the AmmoniaPac fuel gas supply system, the Wärtsilä Ammonia Release Mitigation System (WARMS), and the Wärtsilä NOx Reducer (NOR) for exhaust after-treatment. It also features automation across the different technologies, and a guaranteed maintenance agreement to minimise vessel downtime. Through the online Wartsila Lounge, interested parties learn more about technical specifications, and see the engine in 3 dimensions.

The Wärtsilä 25 ammonia engine emits less than 30% GHG of a comparable diesel engine, thereby meeting current EU targets for vessel emissions in 2050, and exceeding the IMO’s 2040 target for vessel emissions.

The maritime industry must significantly reduce its emissions if we are to succeed in reaching the goals set in the Paris agreement. The adoption of new technologies and ammonia as a carbon free fuel is central to this. We are delighted to partner with Wärtsilä on another important milestone for our ammonia-powered short sea bulk vessels.

André Risholm, Board member at Viridis Bulk Carriers, in Wartsila’s official press release, 15 November 2023

The ammonia solution is based on Wärtsilä’s well-proven LNG system, from which we have gained invaluable experience. The Wärtsilä 25 engine has been designed for easy adoption of sustainable fuels and, now, in addition to its previous capability of operating on diesel, LNG, or on gas or liquid carbon-neutral biofuels, we are proud to add ammonia to its specifications.

Roger Holm, Wärtsilä’s Marine Power President, in his organisation’s official press release, 15 November 2023

You can learn more about the development process behind the Wärtsilä 25 engine (and especially safety aspects) from our May 2023 episode of Maritime Ammonia Insights.

WinGD & CMB.TECH: progress on ammonia engines for bulk carriers

WinGD, Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding and China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s engine building arm CSE have agreed to underwrite Belgian bulk carrier operator CMB.TECH’s order of X72DF-A ammonia-fuelled engines. Initially announced in January this year, this project aims to deploy ammonia engines to power a series of 210,000 dwt bulk carriers, to be delivered from Qingdao in 2025-26.

The agreement signals important progress in WinGD and CMB.TECH’s plan to develop WinGD’s 72-bore ammonia-engines which will be the first of their size for ammonia. The vessels will also be the first ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers to be built. WinGD’s X-DF-A engines, which received AiP from Lloyd’s Register in September this year, operate using high-pressure fuel injection with a small portion of pilot fuel.

Having progressed the engine design and vessel integration concept rapidly with CMB.TECH over the past nine months, enlisting the mutual cooperation of the shipyard and engine builder is a critical next step. As well as safeguarding the successful entry into operation of these innovative engines, this collaboration will also accelerate the spread of ammonia capabilities across key stakeholder groups, placing the whole industry on surer footing as it explores a vital decarbonisation pathway.

Dominik Schneiter, CEO WinGD in CMB.TECH’s official press release, 5 December 2023

Bringing a new engine design into commercial operation is always the result of strong joint effort between engine and vessel designer, engine builder, shipyard and owner. CSE is honoured to be the first engine builder in China to deliver ammonia-fuelled engines to the maritime market, and to take an early role in what will become a significant market as ammonia fuel is used more widely in shipping.

Zhang Guangwei, CSE Chief Engineer in CMB.TECH’s official press release, 5 December 2023
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