A cooperation agreement has been signed between Wärtsilä and Norwegian shipowner Eidesvik Offshore ASA which aims to convert an offshore supply vessel (OSV) to operate using an ammonia-fueled combustion engine, including the installation of a fuel supply and subsequent safety systems. It is said to be the first project of its kind in the world.
The vessel being considered for the retrofit currently operates using Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engines, run primarily on LNG fuel. Following the conversion, a 70% ammonia blend can be used, with an end goal of achieving operation on 100% ammonia and with a minimum ignition fuel requirement. Wärtsilä has already carried out successful laboratory testing of an engine running on a 70% ammonia blend.
“Collaborating with Eidesvik on this groundbreaking project is an exciting and important step towards carbon-free shipping,” said Hans Petter Nesse, managing director, Wärtsilä Norway.
“Naturally we are also working with classification societies on measures to ensure safe and environmentally sustainable use. We are already well advanced in the development of ammonia as a viable marine fuel, and are actively working on other future carbon-free fuels as well. Our strong in-house competences are very much being utilized to support our commitment to decarbonizing shipping.”
Having used LNG fuel in its fleet since 2003 and fuel cells since 2006, Eidesvik believes that new-builds and existing vessels must also be retrofitted to achieve ever-tightening maritime decarbonization targets.
“Using ammonia as a fuel is seen as a key future contributor to shipping’s energy transition, and we’re excited to be the first offshore shipowner taking this step. This project is yet another confirmation of our strong reputation as a pioneer in implementing new environmental technologies in both new-builds and the existing fleet,” said Jan Fredrik Meling, CEO and president, Eidesvik.
The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.