WinGD and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Agree Ammonia Fuel Supply System Design

ammonia fuel supply system
WinGD is developing a range of ammonia-fueled engines and reports it has finalzied a fuel system supply design with Mitsubishi (WinGD file phot)

Published Feb 22, 2024 7:47 PM by The Maritime Executive


Engine manufacturer WinGD and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding report they have reached a key milestone in the development of ammonia-fueled propulsion. The two companies have finalized the basic design for an ammonia fuel supply system for an ammonia-fueled large, low-speed two-stroke marine engine.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and WinGD concluded a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2023 to undertake technical studies on an ammonia fuel supply system. Under the partnership, WinGD is working to develop X?DF?A engines at appropriate sizes for a range of vessel designs, providing the shipbuilder with the specifications for installing the engines and the requirements for all auxiliary fuel systems. Mitsubishi is designing the vessels, setting performance parameters for the engines, and further developing its existing ammonia fuel supply system (AFSS) for use with WinGD’s ammonia engines.

The AFSS design is the first result of the wide-ranging partnership focusing on developing solutions for ammonia engines and fuel systems that can be applied across a range of vessel designs. Because ammonia emits no CO2 when combusted it is viewed as a leading alternative marine fuel as well as for heavy industry, but it also presents challenges to achieve and maintain steady combustion as well as the highly toxic and corrosive nature of ammonia.

As well as the fuel supply system - including a fuel valve unit, fuel conditioning, and all related piping – the companies report their concept includes several features to enable the safe use of ammonia as a marine fuel. These include an ammonia catching system as well as purging and venting arrangements.

“At present, our primary focus is on advancing the technology of our clean-fuel solutions including our ammonia-powered X?DF?A engines, with the first delivery expected in Q2 2025,” said Sebastian Hensel, Director R&D at WinGD. “This collaboration will make sure that the auxiliary systems and integration capability are in place to apply our engine designs, and developing the fuel supply system concept is a crucial step in bringing ammonia fuel capability to the marine market.”

The project will now proceed to the detailed design phase, ensuring that ammonia capability is available to ocean going vessel operators ahead of regulatory requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In September 2023, WinGD reported that it had received approval in principle for the first of its ammonia two-stroke engines from Lloyd’s Register, the first ever awarded for two-stroke engines fueled with ammonia. They reported the engines will operate according to the Diesel principle in both diesel and ammonia modes, and Win has already recorded the first future delivery orders for ammonia-ready vessels.