Wärtsilä and the Korean shipbuilding company Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have signed a joint development program (JDP) agreement aimed at developing ammonia-fueled vessels with 4-stroke auxiliary engines available for future newbuild projects. Both parties recognise the importance of future carbon-free fuels in the marine industry’s drive towards decarbonization. The agreement was signed in July 2021.
Wärtsilä has a leading role in developing engines for operation on future clean fuels, and has already successfully tested an engine running with a fuel mix containing 70% ammonia. The company anticipates having an engine concept capable of operating with 100% ammonia in 2023.
There is a lot of interest from owners and operators in the potential for new clean-burning fuels, and ammonia is thought to be among the most promising of these candidates. Wärtsilä has already made significant progress in testing ammonia, and we are pleased to work together with them to bring this to reality.—Youngkyu Ahn, Vice President, SHI
According to SHI, the most likely initial newbuild targets for ships utilizing ammonia fuel will be container vessels and very large crude carriers, operating with 2-stroke main engines and 4-stroke Wärtsilä auxiliary engines.
Separately, Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification, delivered an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd. (KSOE) for its innovative design and development of an ammonia carrier with ammonia-fueled propulsion.
The design was developed to ensure its compatibility with the existing infrastructure for ammonia, while also reflecting the market’s demand for very large gas carriers (VLGCs). The vessel will be 227m long, 36.6m wide, and 23.6m deep—similar dimensions to that of the HHI 91K VLGC design.
It will be equipped with four (4) prismatic-type cargo tanks with a total capacity of 91,000 cubic meters. This design was optimized for the safe and efficient carriage of ammonia as a single cargo, thereby maximising competitiveness for shipowners, both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX.