Engine developer WinGD and CMB.TECH (a subsidiary of Belgian-based shipping firm CMB) will team up to deploy ammonia-fueled, two-stroke engines on a series of newbuild vessels. The pair will continue development of WinGD’s dual fuel X72DF design (which was first announced in December 2021), and then deploy the engine in ten Capesize bulk carriers (210,000 DWT), to be built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation at the Beihai shipyard. Delivery of the vessels is due in 2025-6.
The ten vessels have already been ordered by Bocimar (another CMB subsidiary). Bocimar currently operates a fleet of 48 dry bulk vessels, some of which service key iron ore transport corridors between Australia and Asia.
We believe that ammonia is the most promising zero-carbon fuel for deep sea vessels. Our intention is to have dual-fuel ammonia-diesel engines on our dry bulk vessels, container vessels and chemical tankers.CMB CEO Alexander Saverys in WinGD’s official press release, 31 Jan 2023
Having CMB.TECH’s input into the engine development will be invaluable given their alternative fuel expertise and their ship operator’s perspective on how an engine concept is implemented and ultimately operated. The project is an opportunity to widen the roll-out of ammonia technology across our portfolio, in line with our previously stated timeframe of introducing the first engine concept in 2025.WinGD CEO Klaus Heim in his organisation’s official press release, 31 Jan 2023
CMB.TECH is also involved in an ammonia fuel production project in Namibia.
Insight into MAN’s ammonia engine testing
In a recent interview with Maritime Reporter & Engineering News magazine, MAN ES Head of Two-Stroke Business Bjarne Foldager and Promotions Manager Hrishikesh Chatterjee explained the process underway at their Copenhagen facility. As well as testing combustion of ammonia in a 60 bore maritime engine to eliminate NOx emissions and optimise power output, the setup will act as a risk assessment of key safety & handling considerations: truck-to-storage tank transfer, on-board ammonia pipes connecting fuel tanks to the engine room, and others.
While there remains some apprehension to ammonia as a fuel in maritime premised on its toxicity, Chatterjee was succinct: “If it works in Copenhagen, it will definitely work on the ship. Failure is not an option.”MAN ES Promotions Manager Hrishikesh Chatterjee quoted in “MAN ES: Moving Forward on Ammonia Engines”, by Greg Trauthwein (Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, 18 Jan 2023)