WinGD, Alfa Laval to work together on ammonia-powered engines development

Swedish sustainable solutions provider Alfa Laval and Swiss engine designer WinGD have established a partnership in which Alfa Laval will deliver two fuel supply systems (FSS) for testing WinGD’s ammonia-fueled engine in early 2024.

Test engine in WinGD Engine Research and Innovation Centre

The partnership is seen as a significant step forward in the development of ammonia as a future fuel for marine vessels.

Ammonia is anticipated to become a key fuel in the shipping industry’s efforts to reduce its impact on carbon emissions. To advance the use of zero-carbon fuels, WinGD is at the forefront of developing ammonia-fuelled engines, with the recent achievement of the first-ever Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register for its X-DF-A dual-fuel range powered by ammonia.

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In the next step of the company’s ongoing ammonia test campaign, WinGD has partnered with Alfa Laval to provide two customized ammonia fuel supply systems for their Engine Research and Innovation Centre in Winterthur, Switzerland. Alfa Laval will deliver the FSS for the injector test system and FSS for the engine test bench in early 2024.

As explained, the project is in the framework of WinGD’s and Alfa Laval’s earlier agreement for cooperation on methanol and ammonia, signed in 2022. This gives both companies the chance to optimize the overall fuel supply and use it for later application onboard.

“Strategic collaboration, like this one with WinGD, represents a definitive pathway towards achieving decarbonisation and fuel transition,” Viktor Friberg, Head of Marine Separation & Fuel Supply Systems, Alfa Laval, said.

“We have expanded our technological expertise to be ready with solutions for ammonia engines in alignment with our ambition. This joint research and development project is an efficient pathway to facilitate the use of one more alternative fuel.”

“With each new collaboration we are one step further on the path to running engines with zero carbon emissions,” Sebastian Hensel, R&D Director, WinGD, pointed out.

“Our ammonia testing campaign began in 2021 with extensive research into the combustion characteristics of the fuel. The fuel supply system is an important next step in the technology development, keeping pace with our delivery targets of 2025. We are confident that Alfa Laval’s expertise and proven experience in fuel supply applications will be valuable to help us reach our goal.”

Alfa Laval’s role in the project will draw heavily on its vast technical know-how in fuel supply technology and experience with a wide range of fuels, both conventional and alternative. Alfa Laval FCM, the low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS), has a flexible design and fully automated operations to ensure safe and smooth process control.

This project will provide a testing environment to help both the companies carry out development activities of the engine and equipment associated with it. Alfa Laval will also investigate and develop a mitigation system to secure safe handling of ammonia.

Alfa Laval has made significant progress in developing technology for using ammonia as fuel, in close collaboration with key industry stakeholders. In 2022, Alfa Laval got approval for testing ammonia at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Aalborg. As with LNG, biofuels and methanol, the center has deepened its knowledge of ammonia combustion to help in the development of onboard technologies, keeping safety and efficiency in mind.

In related news, WinGD concluded last week a four-party agreement underwriting Belgian bulk carrier operator CMB.TECH’s order of X72DF-A ammonia-fueled engines. The agreement advances the project between WinGD and CMB.TECH to develop the 72-bore ammonia engine.

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