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Wärtsilä and SHI to partner on ammonia fuelled engines for future newbuilds

Finland-headed marine and energy technology major Wärtsilä Oyj has disclosed that it and the Korean shipbuilding company Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have signed a Joint Development Programme (JDP) agreement aimed at developing ammonia-fuelled vessels with 4-stroke auxiliary engines available for future newbuild projects. Both parties recognize the importance of future carbon-free fuels in the marine industry’s drive towards decarbonization. The agreement was signed in July 2021.

Wärtsilä’s testing of ammonia as a viable fuel for shipping and energy sector applications is part of its future fuels development program. It has signed a Joint Development Programme (JDP) agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) aimed at developing ammonia-fuelled vessels with 4-stroke auxiliary engines available for future newbuild projects (photo courtesy Wärtsilä).

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 percent ammonia. The company anticipates having an engine concept capable of operating with 100 percent ammonia in 2023.

Decarbonization has become the industry’s goal, and we at Wärtsilä are committed to doing everything possible to achieve this ambition. The adoption of a new generation of carbon-free fuels is central to a decarbonized future for shipping, so this JDP agreement represents an important step forward, said Östen Lindell, Sales Director, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

According to SHI, the most likely initial new build 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.

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, said Youngkyu Ahn, VP SHI.

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