Independent commodity trading company Trafigura Group will co-sponsor the development of a MAN Energy Solutions ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels.
The fuel-flexible, two-stroke ammonia engine is expected to be commercially available for large-scale ocean-going ships by 2024, followed by a retrofit package to make existing maritime vessels capable of running on ammonia by 2025.
According to the International Maritime Organization, maritime shipping emits about 1.05-million tons of carbon dioxide a year and is responsible for about 2.9% of all greenhouse-gas emissions.
Without mitigation, emissions are projected to grow by as much as 130% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.
“Shipping faces a significant challenge in reducing its emissions, while at the same time the threat of climate change requires urgent action to decarbonise.
“Developing engines and the supporting infrastructure to provide the industry with the ability to adopt carbon-neutral and carbon-free fuels is key to establishing a greener shipping industry in the near future,” says Trafigura executive director Jose Maria Larocca.
He adds that, by co-sponsoring the MAN Energy Solutions two-stroke ammonia-fuelled engine, the company is committing itself to cross-industry collaboration to bring forward the urgently needed technologies for the maritime energy transition.
MAN Energy Solutions CEO Dr Uwe Lauber remarks that the final goal for two-stroke engines is to run them entirely on carbon-neutral and carbon-free fuels.
“We welcome Trafigura’s support for this key decarbonisation technology. The interest from shipping companies – and indeed from all links in the entire marine supply chain – in new fuel-technologies currently has great momentum, however, the move to green engines also depends on economic realities.
“No shipping company can risk having its fleet stranded during this transition, which is why we offer flexible solutions that will allow shipping to adapt to the availability of carbon neutral fuels in the market.”
MAN Energy Solutions senior VP Bjarne Foldager adds that several independent reports have called for new types of partnerships within the maritime sector that not only link traditional players.
This closely aligns with the company’s strategy of cooperating with external partners to develop sustainable technologies.
MAN Energy Solutions has a record of developing engines running on alternative fuels, having developed the world’s first oceangoing ships driven respectively by liquid natural gas, methanol, ethane and liquid petroleum gas.
“In this context, ammonia is an interesting candidate as a zero-carbon fuel and MAN Energy Solutions is fully committed to the development of technology that exploits alternative, clean fuels,” Foldager says.