WinGD, CMB TECH to develop large ammonia-fuelled engines for Bocimar’s bulker newbuilds

Swiss marine power company WinGD and Belgian shipping and cleantech group CMB.TECH have signed an agreement on the development of ammonia-fuelled two-stroke engines.

Bulk carrier CMB powered by ammonia Image credit: CMB

The companies aim to install the ammonia dual-fuel X72DF engine on a series of ten x 210,000 DWT bulk carriers to be built at a Chinese shipyard in 2025 and 2026. The ships are being built for CMB’s sister firm Bocimar in line with the contract signed last year.

WinGD said that the new engines will be based on the X92B engine, as its fuel efficiency makes it an ideal starting point for developing large-bore ammonia-fuelled engines.

The series of large bulk carriers powered by WinGD’s ammonia engines have been described as the first of its kind and proof that large sea-going vessels can be powered by zero-carbon fuels. 

Under the joint development project, CMB.TECH will support WinGD in establishing its ammonia-fuelled engine concept, tapping into its insight into alternative fuels and large marine and industrial applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia.

“We believe that ammonia is the most promising zero-carbon fuel for deep sea vessels. Our intention is to have dual-fuel ammonia-diesel engines on our dry bulk vessels, container vessels and chemical tankers. Collaborating with WinGD on the development of the first ammonia-fuelled two-stroke engines for our fleet is a pioneering partnership on the road to zero emissions in shipping,” CMB CEO Alexander Saverys, said.

Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) owns and operates 150 seagoing vessels in dry bulk under the Bocimar brand, container transport under the Delphis brand, Bochem for chemical tankers, and Windcat for crew transfer vessels. The Antwerp-based group is also active in cleantech (CMB.TECH) and real estate (MCA Facilities, Maritime Campus Antwerp).

CMB revealed three years ago that it had offset all its CO2 emissions in order to have net zero CO2 emissions from 2020. This has been done by supporting certified climate projects in developing countries and acquiring high-quality Voluntary Carbon Units in Zambia, Guatemala and India.

Furthermore, CMB believes that it can achieve zero carbon emissions from its shipping operations in 2050.

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“This project is a significant step in accelerating our ammonia technology roadmap for a zero-carbon future. Having CMB.TECH’s input into the engine development will be invaluable given their alternative fuel expertise and their ship operator’s perspective on how an engine concept is implemented and ultimately operated. The project is an opportunity to widen the roll-out of ammonia technology across our portfolio, in line with our previously stated timeframe of introducing the first engine concept in 2025,” WinGD CEO Klaus Heim said.