Wartsila and Norway-based offshore vessel owner Simon Møkster Shipping have joined forces to conduct a feasibility study regarding ammonia usage as the main fuel in dual-fuel engines where liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the substitute fuel.

The project aims to prove the viability of converting ships for dual ammonia and LNG operation.

The partners will carry out the testing on an offshore supply vessel (OSV) named Stril Pioneer.

This OSV, which was included in the Simon Møkster fleet in 2003, is presently running on Wartsila 32DF dual-fuel engines using LNG as the primary fuel.

By utilising a mix of ammonia and LNG, the companies expect to reduce carbon emissions from the combustion process.

Simon Møkster owner and CEO Anne Jorunn Møkster said: “We are excited to join Wartsila in this project. 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. By 2050 we expect to reach net-zero carbon emissions.”

Wartsila Norway sales head Cato Esperø said: “Decarbonisation is central to the future of shipping, and Wartsila is totally committed to helping our customers achieve this goal. This collaboration agreement represents further evidence of this commitment. 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.”

Simon Møkster Shipping provides ‘modern’ offshore support vessels that are equipped to operate in unfavourable weather scenarios.

The firm is wholly owned by the Møkster family and has a fleet of 17 ships.

Last month, Wartsila Exhaust Treatment signed a letter of intent with Solvang to perform a full-scale pilot retrofit deployment of a carbon capture and storage system on the latter’s ethylene carrier Clipper Eos.