Finnish marine technology group Wärtsilä has initiated combustion trials using ammonia to help the company prepare for the use of ammonia as an eco-friendly ship fuel.
As part of the tests, ammonia was injected into a combustion research unit to better understand its properties. Based on initial results, the tests will be continued on both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines. These will be followed by field tests in collaboration with shipowners from 2022, and potentially also with energy customers in the future.
“The first tests have yielded promising results and we will continue to optimise combustion parameters. This is an important step in making sure that Wärtsilä can provide the engine and fuel systems that shipowners need, whichever fuel they choose in the future,” said Kaj Portin, general manager, fuel & operational flexibility of Wärtsilä Marine.
The company is developing ammonia storage and supply systems as part of a project to install ammonia fuel cells on Eidesvik Offshore’s supply vessel Viking Energy by 2023. The vessel, which is on contract to Equinor, will have a large 2MW ammonia fuel cell fitted allowing it to sail on the clean fuel for up to 3,000 hours annually.
Additionally, Wärtsilä is investigating several future fuels including synthetic methane, hydrogen and methanol, with a view to providing complete flexibility across engines and the fuel chain.
In January, Malaysia’s flagship carrier MISC along with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), Lloyd’s Register (LR) and MAN Energy Solutions announced that they will work together on a joint development project for an ammonia-fuelled tanker.