WinGD: X-DF-A dual-fuel engine to run on ammonia by Q1 2025

Swiss marine power company WinGD has revealed that it is on track to deliver its first X-DF-A dual-fuel ammonia engine by the first quarter of 2025.


As explained, the confirmation, which follows combustion tests at WinGD research facilities in December 2022, is backed by recent rapid progress in developing an engine concept capable of using zero-carbon fuel efficiently. The company expects that the first X-DF-A powered vessels in service from 2026. 

Last month, it signed an agreement with AET Tankers and sister company Akademi Laut Malaysia to develop crew training on ammonia engines.

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In January 2023, the firm announced a partnership with CMB.Tech, a sister company of Belgian shipowner CMB, to develop ammonia-fuelled engines for ten 210,000 DWT bulk carriers.

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The developments are supported by strong collaborations with engine and ship builders in China, Japan and Korea.

Most recently, WinGD signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd to prepare X-DF-A for application across a range of vessel sizes and for integration with the engine builder’s ammonia fuel supply system. This follows a development project with Hyundai Heavy Industries initiated in June 2022.

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Tests on the unique, purpose built single-cylinder engine located at ERIC Winterthur and a multi-cylinder test engine at WinGD’s Global Test Centre in Shanghai will commence, in collaboration with China Shipbuilding Power Engineering Institute Co. Ltd (CSPI).

Across the multiple collaborations and further work with class societies, ammonia fuel supply system suppliers and shipyards, WinGD has focused on defining safety aspects related to the engine installation and ammonia supply system. 

“For the industry to be truly ready for alternative fuels, the engine concepts that use them – and the vessel designs, auxiliary systems, crew training and field support network – need to be ready before the fuels become widely available. Our development timeframe, as evidenced by these milestones in research and collaboration, shows that we are on track to give shipowners and operators the time they need to prepare for decarbonised ship power using ammonia as fuel,” WinGD CEO Dominik Schneiter said.

Ammonia has emerged as a highly promising fuel in the maritime industry due to its complete lack of CO2 emissions when combusted. This characteristic positions ammonia as a key player in the reduction of GHG emissions, making it a viable and clean energy source for the future.

In a race to decarbonize the maritime industry, major engine manufacturers, including German MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES), are working to develop ammonia engines for ships as soon as possible. As part of these efforts, MAN ES has recently achieved a milestone in the development of the engine. The manufacturer completed the first running of a test engine on ammonia at its Research Centre Copenhagen (RCC). 

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