MAN B&W ammonia engine will be piloted in new Japanese bulk carrier

Written by Nick Blenkey
MAN B&W ammonia engine

MAN B&W 60-centimeter bore ammonia engine at MAN Energy Solutions’ Research Center Copenhagen

Imabari Shipbuilding’s Nihon Shipyard is to install an MAN B&W 7S60ME-ammonia engine in a 200,000 dwt class bulk carrier being built for a joint venture between K Line, NS United and Itochu Corporation. The project is one of the first to use MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-powered engine, currently under development in Denmark. The MAN B&W ammonia engine will be built in Japan by Mitsui E&S.

According to NS United, the development and commercialization of ammonia dual fueled engine is essential for the widespread use of ammonia fueled ships, with ensuring the safety against toxicity of ammonia and confirming stable operation at sea being important milestones to be met. The ammonia fueled bulker to will be built by Nihon Shipyard as a pilot project, enabling collection of the necessary operational data for the commercialization of ammonia-fueled engines and ammonia-fueled ships.

“This project marks another important milestone in our ammonia-engine development and indeed for the maritime industry in general,” said Brian Østergaard Sørensen, vice president and head of research & development, two-stroke at MAN Energy Solutions. “It also confirms that we are on the right track in relation to our dual-fuel ammonia concept where we have gained a great understanding of ammonia’s unique characteristics as a marine fuel via our two-stroke engine testing, which we started in early June 2023. Equally as important, we are confident of how to handle it safely; it is very satisfying to see our hard work beginning to pay off.”

“The interest in this revolutionary engine had been overwhelming, even prior to our two-stroke ammonia-engine testing, but has even intensified after the important lessons learnt from ammonia-combustion testing on the test engine here in Copenhagen,” said Bjarne Foldager, country manager, Denmark, at MAN Energy Solutions. “While the current growth in shipping will increase greenhouse-gas emissions, alternative fuels like e-methanol, e-methane and green ammonia will eventually come to compete with fossil fuels but we need regulation to encourage their adoption in the industry. Regulatory clarity from the EU and IMO is improving but now we need the right market-based tools to be introduced in order to bring the industry towards carbon neutrality for 2050.”

“MAN Energy Solutions has been developing this engine since 2019 with over 100,000 man-hours recorded in that time. This first MAN B&W ammonia engine is a 60-bore type, which is applicable to a broad range of vessel segments,” said Thomas S. Hansen, head of sales and promotion at MAN Energy Solutions. “We believe that the success of ammonia as a marine fuel strongly relies on a safe introduction to the market. We will therefore monitor a number of engines entering operation at sea to ensure that the engine design and functionality of the auxiliary systems meet our expectations before the engine is formally introduced to our marine engine program as part of a full sales release. In the short term, we expect a fast uptake of ammonia-fueled engines towards the end of the decade as we obtain positive seagoing experience from the first engines. In the long term, we expect ammonia to comprise around 35% of fuel used onboard large merchant-marine vessels by 2050 due to lower production cost compared to other e-fuels relevant for large merchant-marine vessels.”

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