Maritime ammonia: vessel conversions and new engines by 2023

Vessel conversion

Eidesvik Offshore and Wärtsilä will cooperate in the world’s first ammonia conversion project, with an existing offshore supply vessel (OSV) to be retrofitted with an ammonia-fueled combustion engine, fuel supply and safety system. The project has a completion date of late 2023.

The OSV considered for the retrofit currently has Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines operating primarily with LNG fuel. The conversion will allow the vessel to operate with a 70 percent ammonia blend. Wärtsilä has already successfully laboratory tested an engine fuelled with a 70 percent ammonia blend. The ultimate goal is to achieve operation with 100 percent ammonia and with a minimum ignition fuel requirement…

Wärtsilä and Eidesvik are also partners in the EU-funded ShipFC project to equip a platform supply vessel, the Viking Energy, with a 2MW fuel cell running on green ammonia. The installation is scheduled to take place in late 2023.

This ammonia conversion project also ties in with one of the ongoing work streams of the Wärtsilä-led Zero Emissions Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) project, aimed at developing ammonia-powered newbuilds and converting suitable existing vessels.

Eidevik Offshore’s official press release, 8 October 2021

Pace is accelerating

The Eidesvik and Wärtsilä team who will lead the OSV ammonia conversion project.
Click to learn more. The Eidesvik and Wärtsilä team who will lead the OSV conversion project. Source: Eidesvik.

The pace of these projects is clearly accelerating. When first announced, the Viking Energy retrofit project had a 2024 completion date. When ammonia-fueled maritime engines were first announced, they came with nominal 2024 and 2025 target dates. Wärtsilä’s testing of 70% ammonia fuel in its maritime engines has already been completed, with the organisation aiming to have an ammonia blend-fueled engine ready for commercial deployment asap. And, a pure ammonia-fueled maritime engine is on the way, with Wärtsilä announcing earlier this year a concept design would be ready by 2023.

MAN ES engines

MAN ES has signed a new agreement with Mitsui E&S and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) concerning its under-development low-speed, ammonia-fueled main vessel engine. Ultimately, Mitsui E&S and MOL intend to have purchase contracts for these ammonia-powered engine units signed in 2023.

This week MAN ES also signed a new cooperation agreement with DP World, who – aside from being one of the world’s largest logistics organisations – operate the largest center for ship repair, conversion and new-builds in the Middle East. MAN and DP World have collaborated before on decarbonisation projects: most recently in September with the bunkering of 20 tonnes green synthetic natural gas in Germany by the container ship ElbBLUE. The vessel itself was converted to run on dual-fuel by MAN and DP World subsidiary Unifeeder in 2017.

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