WinGD seals four-way partnership for CMB.TECH ammonia engines

Swiss marine power company WinGD has concluded a four-party agreement underwriting Belgian bulk carrier operator CMB.TECH’s order of X72DF-A ammonia-fuelled engines.

Bulk carrier CMB powered by ammonia Image credit: CMB

CSSC Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding (QBS) and engine builder CSSC Engine Co (CSE) have also signed the agreement for the joint undertaking to power a series of 210,000 DWT bulk carriers to be delivered from Qingdao through 2025 and 2026.

Following confirmation of the engine order, the agreement advances the project between WinGD and CMB.TECH to develop the 72-bore ammonia-engine, as announced in January.

The vessels have been described as the first ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers to be built; the WinGD engine designs are expected to be the first of their size for ammonia; and the first ammonia engines built in China.

CMB.TECH CEO, Alexander Saverys said: “CMB.TECH sees green ammonia as one of the big solutions to decarbonise long-distance shipping and this order brings to fruition our active commitment to develop this pathway. The gathering of expertise under this agreement will ensure that our first ammonia-fuelled vessels are built and powered in a safe and sustainable way, as well as helping to decarbonize our business and our customers’ logistics.”

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“Having progressed the engine design and vessel integration concept rapidly with CMB.TECH over the past nine months, enlisting the mutual cooperation of the shipyard and engine builder is a critical next step. As well as safeguarding the successful entry into operation of these innovative engines, this collaboration will also accelerate the spread of ammonia capabilities across key stakeholder groups, placing the whole industry on surer footing as it explores a vital decarbonization pathway,” WinGD CEO, Dominik Schneiter said.

“Bringing a new engine design into commercial operation is always the result of a strong joint effort between engine and vessel designer, engine builder, shipyard and owner,” CSE Chief Engineer, Zhang Guangwei said.

WinGD’s X-DF-A engines operate using high-pressure fuel injection with a small portion of pilot fuel, and will have performance and fuel efficiency comparable to the company’s diesel-fuelled X-Engines.

There will be no requirement for aftertreatment of N2O emissions, according to WinGD, while selective catalytic reduction will be used to ensure Tier III NOx compliance in both ammonia and diesel modes.

The engine developer said that the hazard identification (HAZID) studies, followed by an Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register of the X-DF-A engine concept were pivotal in verifying that ammonia-fuelled engines built, commissioned and operated to the approved design, have equivalent safety to conventionally fuelled engines.