Wärtsilä and Norwegian ship owner Eidesvik Offshore ASA will convert an offshore supply vessel to operate with an ammonia-fuelled combustion engine with required fuel supply and safety system. This project will be the first of its kind ever in the world and has a provisional completion target by the end of 2023.

The offshore supply vessel (OSV) considered for a retrofit currently has Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines operating primarily with LNG fuel. The conversion will allow the vessel to operate with a seventy per cent ammonia blend. Wärtsilä has already successfully laboratory tested an engine fuelled with such a blend. The ultimate goal is to achieve operation with 100 per cent ammonia and with a minimum ignition fuel requirement.

As a fuel, ammonia has the potential to drastically reduce emissions of CO2.

‘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 ship owner taking this step,’ says Eidesvik CEO & President, Jan Fredrik Meling.

Hans Petter Nesse, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Norway, adds: ‘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.’

Also read: Wärtsilä trials marine engines running on hydrogen and ammonia

Eidesvik has used LNG fuel in its fleet from as early as 2003, and fuel cells from 2006. The company believes that to achieve the industry’s decarbonisation targets, not only newbuilds will need to have the appropriate technologies, but existing vessels must also be retrofitted accordingly.

ShipFC project

Wärtsilä and Eidesvik are also partners in the EU-funded ShipFC project to equip a platform supply vessel, the Viking Energy, with a 2-MW fuel cell running on green ammonia. The installation is scheduled to take place in late 2023.

Also read: Offshore vessel to be retrofitted with ammonia-powered fuel cell

Picture: The Wärtsilä and Eidesvik personnel leading the ammonia conversion project. From left to right Jan Lodden; Chief Operation Officer, Eidesvik Offshore ASA, Hans-Petter Nesse, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Norway, Gitte Gard Talmo, Chief Commercial Officer, Eidesvik Offshore ASA and Cato Esperø, Head of Sales, Wärtsilä Norway (by Wärtsilä Corporation).

Also read: Tanker to be designed that can sail on both methanol and ammonia