Wartsila to test ammonia fuel in marine combustion engine

1 July 2020 (Last Updated July 1st, 2020 12:18)

Marine technology group Wartsila has announced that it will test the use of ammonia as a fuel in a marine four-stroke combustion engine.

Wartsila to test ammonia fuel in marine combustion engine
The project leaders pictured at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s test facility at Stord, Norway. Credit: Wartsila.

Marine technology group Wartsila has announced that it will test the use of ammonia as a fuel in a marine four-stroke combustion engine.

It is the first long-term, full-scale testing of ammonia in the world.

The tests will be carried out in partnership with Knutsen OAS Shipping AS and Repsol along with the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre.

The tests received an Nkr20m ($2.06m) grant from the Norwegian Research Council via DEMO 2000 programme.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said: “This is a great example that illustrates the importance of dedicated petroleum R&D. This DEMO 2000 project is another steppingstone for reaching our ambitious climate targets and it is also aligned with our recently published hydrogen strategy.

“We need to develop and use new technologies that reduce emissions. We are very happy to support development work that can lead to increased use of ammonia as a fuel in shipping and in the offshore sector. Know-how from this project will also provide important input to the development of regulations for the use of ammonia and other low-carbon fuels.”

Ammonia is said to be one of the carbon-free fuel options as the maritime industry aims to adhere to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) vision of reducing shipping greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50% by 2050.

The project will be carried out in the testing facilities of Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre at Stord, Norway, in the first quarter of next year.

Wartsila Marine Business Market Innovation general manager Egil Hystad said: “We are really excited to further develop and understand the combustion properties of ammonia as a carbon-free fuel in one of our multi-fuel engines.

“Ammonia storage and supply systems will be designed and developed for maximum personal safety and in parallel with the Fuel Gas Handling System under development as part of the EU project ShipFC.

“This project is coordinated by NCE Maritime CleanTech and it involves an ammonia-driven fuel cell, which will be tested on the Eidesvik Offshore supply vessel Viking Energy.”