The marine industry’s first commercially viable 4-stroke engine-based ammonia fuel solution has been offered by technology group Wärtsilä. A major advancement in environmentally friendly shipping operations is made possible by this new solution at a time when ship owners are looking for practical green fuel alternatives. The ammonia solution is available for purchase as a component of the September 2022 launch of the Wärtsilä 25 engine platform.
It is expected that Viridis Bulk Carriers, the first shipping firm in the world with zero emissions, will be the first shipowner to take advantage of the new ammonia solution. The company is a partnership between Amon Maritime, Mosvolds Rederi and Navigare Logistics. With the goal of signing a commercial contract in early 2024, Wärtsilä and Viridis Bulk Carriers signed a Letter of Intent earlier this month for the Wärtsilä 25 ammonia engine system. Following the development of a carbon-free transportation service centred around a fleet of ammonia-powered newbuild boats, Viridis Bulk Carriers is introducing a “green game changer” to the European short sea bulk market.
“The maritime industry must significantly reduce its emissions if we are to succeed in reaching the goals set in the Paris agreement. The adoption of new technologies and ammonia as a carbon free fuel is central to this. We are delighted to partner with Wärtsilä on another important milestone for our ammonia-powered short sea bulk vessels.”
André Risholm, Board member at Viridis Bulk Carriers.
“Wärtsilä is a leader in shaping the decarbonisation of marine and energy industries. This industry-leading solution is yet another flagship moment in Wärtsilä’s extensive programme to ensure future marine fuels are both viable and safe. Working in partnership with Viridis Bulk Carriers, we take the next step in our decarbonisation journey, enabling the transition to greener fuels and accelerating towards net-zero emissions shipping.”
Håkan Agnevall, President and CEO of Wärtsilä
Along with the engine, the complete solution consists of the Wärtsilä NOx Reducer (NOR) for efficient exhaust after-treatment, the AmmoniaPac fuel gas supply system, and the WARMS Ammonia Release Mitigation System. The solution’s design places a high priority on efficiency and safety, which are enhanced by a highly advanced automation system and a maintenance contract that guarantee safe and effective onboard operations. Dedicated training and round-the-clock international support additionally contribute to the crew members’ safe and seamless transition to ammonia as a new fuel.
“The ammonia solution is based on Wärtsilä’s well-proven LNG system, from which we have gained invaluable experience. The Wärtsilä 25 engine has been designed for easy adoption of sustainable fuels and, now, in addition to its previous capability of operating on diesel, LNG, or on gas or liquid carbon-neutral biofuels, we are proud to add ammonia to its specifications. This makes Wärtsilä 25 a thoroughly future-proof engine platform, that combines operational efficiency with environmental sustainability.”
Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Power business.
One of the most promising options for shipping’s search for substitute clean fuels is sustainable ammonia. When compared to a diesel solution of comparable scale, the new Wärtsilä 25 Ammonia system will immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70%, achieving current EU targets until 2050 and even exceeding the IMO target for 2040.
“This is only the beginning. The Wärtsilä 25 is the first Wärtsilä engine to run on ammonia as a fuel, and this is an important milestone, but we do not stop here. While we are planning for additional ammonia engines in our portfolio over time, we are also committed to continue development and testing of technologies and solutions that can continue to support the industry with reducing greenhouse gas emissions even further in the future.”
Stefan Nysjö, Vice President of Power Supply at Wärtsilä Marine Power.
Further information about this new ammonia based solution will be announced during a virtual event held by Wärtsilä on the 5th December 2023.
If you are interested in new and advanced technologies helping the progression towards sustainable shipping, contact us today to learn about our 2024 Marine events.
Image Credit: Viridis Bulk Carriers