Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to carry out technical studies on ammonia fuel supply

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. has agreed to undertake technical studies on an ammonia fuel supply system for large, low-speed two-stroke marine engines under development by Winterthur Gas & Diesel AG (WinGD).

The signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was held at WinGD Headquarters in Switzerland on June 2.

The newly concluded MOU reflects both companies desire to contribute to the achievement of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decarbonisation target in the maritime industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

WinGD, a Swiss designer of large marine engines, is currently developing ammonia-fuel;ed large, low-speed two-stroke marine engines dubbed type ‘X-DF-A’. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will now work with WinGD in studying the technologies for developing and commercialising the ammonia fuel supply system for the X-DF-A engines.

Ammonia, which emits no CO2 when combusted, is garnering attention today as a fuel that contributes significantly to the reduction of GHG emissions in the maritime industry, and it is expected to be utilized as a stable, clean energy in the future.

In future, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, aligning with MHI Group’s strategy of advancement of the energy transition, will apply its technologies and expertise in ammonia handling accumulated through its long history of building transport carriers.

As a maritime system integrator, the company will promote decarbonisation of the maritime industry and pursue a low-carbon society, contributing to reduction of environmental impact on a global scale.

In 2021 emissions from the international shipping sector grew by 5%, rebounding from the sharp decline in 2020 to reach 2015 levels, according to the IEA.

However to get on track with the Net Zero Scenario, total emissions will need to remain steady to about 2025, despite an expected increase in activity, and then begin decreasing by about 3% per year to 2030, resulting in a total decrease of over 15% from 2025 to 2030.

“While about half of low-carbon fuel use in 2030 is in the form of biofuels, which can be used in existing vessels, technological development and associated policy support will be important to enable the use of other fuels, particularly ammonia and hydrogen, in order to reduce dependency on oil-based fuels in international shipping,” it notes.

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