Major breakthrough: Danish technology enables green shipping

An ammonia-driven ship engine along with an essential supply system from the Hedensted-based company, Eltronic FuelTech, is now a reality. For the first time, true green shipping becomes possible.

As part of global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in shipping, Danish Eltronic FuelTech, in collaboration with MAN Energy Solutions, DTU (Technical University of Denmark), and the Norwegian classification company DNV, has developed an ammonia-driven ship engine along with an essential supply system.

The full-scale ammonia marine engine is the first of its kind in the world, and during the testing phase, combustion was carried out on a MAN B&W two-stroke 4T50ME-X type engine. This yielded positive results with particularly promising data regarding pilot oil quantity and combustion stability, thus giving rise to a new type of ship engine, while the unique supply system ensures safe handling and provision of ammonia as fuel onboard the ship.

According to Louise Andreasen, the CEO of Eltronic FuelTech, this breakthrough represents a significant and groundbreaking milestone in the quest for green shipping:

“To achieve true zero-carbon shipping, ammonia is the most viable fuel. Until now, the technology to safely handle ammonia as fuel has not been in place, but it is now, and it is a huge step in the right direction for the maritime sector that the ammonia engine and the associated supply system are now a reality,” says Louise Andreasen.

Everything is Double-Secured 

The world’s leading developer of low-speed engines for large commercial ships, MAN Energy Solutions leads the AEngine project, while Eltronic FuelTech is responsible for developing the supply system and FVT (Fuel Valve Train) that enables ammonia to be safely transported from the tank to the engine. The company has already developed similar supply or safety systems for more than 550 ships running on alternative fuels such as methanol, LPG, and LNG.

“Our experience and knowledge in this field are second to none, and we can deliver the entire supply part from tank to engine, enabling ships to sail on ammonia for the first time. There are risks associated with the use of ammonia, and that’s where our expertise truly comes into play, ensuring that the fuel is handled safely onboard,” Louise Andreasen explains.

“With ammonia, safety requirements are even higher than with other fuels. This practically means that we double-secure everything in the installation area. This ensures that any potential leak will be detected, contained, and managed without compromising the safety of the ship,” she elaborates.

The completed ammonia engine is expected to be delivered in late 2024 or early 2025, and the technology is also intended to be implemented on ships in the existing fleet.

“With our technology, we can contribute to greener shipping. Just as we have seen increasing support for green methanol recently, we see tremendous potential in ammonia, which undoubtedly will become a significant player within a few years, especially when large container ships adopt it. This will result in a considerable CO2 reduction for the planet,” says Louise Andreasen.