Green shipping: Eltronic FuelTech expands in Hedensted and upgrades production in South Korea

To create space for the development and production of fuel systems for tomorrow’s ammonia and methanol-powered ships, Eltronic FuelTech is expanding at its head office in Hedensted in Jutland and at the same time moving its production in South Korea to larger facilities.

With Laura Mærsk, the world’s first methanol-powered container ship recently became a reality. To create space for the development of new fuel systems, Eltronic FuelTech is now expanding its facilities in Hedensted with a new almost 3,000-square-metre office and canteen building. The new building, which is being built by Eltronic Group, has three storeys and can accommodate up to 190 employees, and is expected to be completed in October 2024.

In connection with its head office expansion, the company’s existing 10,000-square-metre development and test centre will also be completed, where work is already being carried out on tomorrow’s X-to-power technology.

“Methanol and ammonia are undoubtedly the future when it comes to green shipping. Our head office expansion will position us even more strongly and better equip us for supporting the demand which is only set to increase in future,” says Louise Andreasen, CEO of Eltronic FuelTech.

Upgrading has also been a keyword for the company’s Korean department where, from 1 July 2023, its production in the country was transferred to larger premises in the city of Yangsan in the south of the Korean peninsula. The new premises house offices, production, storage and training facilities.

 “Some of the core products which are currently produced in Hedensted are being moved to Korea so we’re closer to our customers in the Far East. This frees up more space for development and testing, and to focus on the development of future products within methanol and ammonia in Hedensted,” says Louise Andreasen.

Tomorrow’s technology ready for the market

Earlier this year, the world’s first running of a test ammonia marine engine was successfully completed on a MAN B&W two-stroke 4T50ME-X engine. Eltronic FuelTech has developed the associated supply and safety system in collaboration with MAN Energy Solutions, DTU and the Norwegian classification society DNV. The technology that makes it possible to use ammonia as a marine fuel is thus ready for the next step towards commercial production.

“It is only now that we have the technology that enables us to safely handle ammonia as a fuel, and this marks a huge breakthrough in our journey towards green shipping, because ammonia is one of the few viable fuels if we’re to achieve zero-carbon shipping. We’re already seeing a demand in the market, and as soon as the engine is put into production, we’re ready with both the supply and safety system,” says Louise Andreasen.

MAN Energy Solutions is leading the development of the ammonia engine through its so-called AEngine project, while Eltronic FuelTech is responsible for developing the systems that ensure the fuel can be safely supplied from the fuel tanks to the engine. Using ammonia imposes greater safety requirements compared to other fuels, and means that everything in the installation area is double-secured so that ship safety is never compromised.

“Just as the take-up of green methanol has increased significantly in a relatively short space of time, the use of ammonia as a fuel will be huge in the coming years. With our experience and expertise in the field, we can ensure the safe supply of fuel from the fuel tanks to the engine, and this can pave the way for significantly lower CO2 emissions from shipping,” says Louise Andreasen.

 The finished ammonia engine is expected to be ready at the end of 2024 or in early 2025, and the idea is that the technology can also be implemented on ships in existing fleets.

Below, you find images showcasing the new 3,000-square-metre office and canteen building as well as the new house offices, production, storage and training facilities in Yangsan, South Korea.