Parts of the shipping industry hope ammonia will take up a significant percentage of global bunker demand in the decades to come. File Image / Pixabay
Engineering company Wärtsilä is set to carry out the first long-term, full-scale test of a ship's engine running ammonia as a bunker fuel, the company said Tuesday.
The company will carry out the test in conjunction with Knutsen OAS Shipping, Repsol and the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre in Stord, Norway in the first quarter of 2021, Wärtsilä said in an emailed statement.
"We are really excited to further develop and understand the combustion properties of ammonia as a carbon free fuel in one of our multi-fuel engines," Egil Hystad, general manager for market innovation at Wärtsilä Marine Business, said in the statement.
"Ammonia storage and supply systems will be designed and developed for maximum personal safety, and in parallel with the Fuel Gas Handling System under development as part of the EU project ShipFC."
Ammonia is being proposed as one of the alternative fuels that can help to deliver the International Maritime Organization's plan to halve shipping's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The hydrogen used to make it will need to be produced with renewable electricity to meet that aim, and it is likely to take up significantly more space on board ships than conventional bunker fuels.