Norway’s Eidesvik Offshore ASA has signed an agreement with Wärtsilä aimed at retrofitting an offshore supply vessel operate with an ammonia-fueled combustion engine with required fuel supply and safety system.
Called the “Apollo” project, the conversion will be the world’s first of its kind and has a provisional completion target of late 2023.
The candidate OSV under consideration currently has Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines operating primarily on LNG fuel. The conversion will allow the vessel to operate with a 70 ammonia blend. Wärtsilä has already successfully laboratory tested an engine fueled with a blend of that percentage. The ultimate goal is to achieve operation with 100 percent ammonia and with a minimum ignition fuel requirement.
“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,” said Eidesvik president and CEO, Jan Fredrik Meling. “This project is yet another confirmation of our strong reputation as a pioneer in implementing new environmental technologies in both newbuilds and the existing fleet.”
“Collaborating with Eidesvik on this groundbreaking project is an exciting and important step towards carbon-free shipping,” said Hans Petter Nesse, managing director of Wärtsilä Norway. “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. Our strong in-house competences are very much being utilised to support our commitment to decarbonizing shipping
Eidesvik has a strong track record in supporting sustainable innovations. It started using LNG fuel in its fleet from as early as 2003, and fuel cells from 2006. It believes that to achieve industry decarbonization targets existing vessels as well as newbuilds will need to be equipped with the appropriate technologies. Another impetus for conversions is that prolonging the life of existing assets requires less capital and is less energy-intensive than building new ones.
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.
This ammonia conversion project also ties in with one of the ongoing work streams of the Wärtsilä-led Zero Emissions Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) project, aimed at developing ammonia-powered newbuilds and converting suitable existing vessels.