Another year has passed in the history of Eltronic FuelTech – a year filled with exciting projects, new products, and great milestones! But 2020 has also been a very different and challenging year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We know that this year has been hard on many people and businesses, and we hope that 2021 will bring us all a healthy and COVID-19 free year, so that we can get back to our normal lives and businesses. In the meantime, stay safe!
This year, we officially became part of the AEngine innovation project together with MAN Energy Solutions, the Technical University of Denmark and DNV GL, supported by Innovation Fund Denmark. The project aims to specify and demonstrate an entire, marine-propulsion system that will pave the way for the first commercial order for an ammonia-fuelled vessel. With the development of the entire solution from tank to the engine, the project is of larger scope than our prior development projects. However, we still have valuable experience from previous projects that can be utilized in the ammonia project.
We are very proud to be a part of this project and to be among the front runners when it comes to decarbonizing the marine industry in the future.
2020 has also been a busy year in terms of developing new products as well as upgrading existing products. Among other things, we began the design phase of our new Gas Valve Unit and Gas Regulating Unit for the ME-GA engine from MAN Energy Solutions.
The Gas Valve Unit ME-GA secures safe operation, and with its special design where most welded pipes are replaced by the innovative design of the FuelTech GVU Component – a component connecting valves, transmitters and other parts for easy maintenance and safe operations – the Gas Valve Unit can be configured in different ways and with many possibilities for placing transmitters. The design that uses pressure retaining multifunctional blocks instead of welded pipes, is an advantage when CAPEX is in focus.
The Gas Regulating Unit ME-GA is a ventilated, hydraulically actuated gas regulating valve, which is mounted directly on the ME-GA engine. It enables a simple and easy installation of the ME-GA engine and the fuel supply system. The gas regulating valve enables depressurizing of the system without dedicated blow-off piping. Both units are expected to be completed for commercial sale in 2021.
This year, the development of our Gas Valve Train MkIV 1” and 1½” were also finalized, and the first units were ordered for commercial projects as well. Likewise, the design of our Fuel Valve Train for methanol were modified with a water connection technology. The added water mixing feature enables our customers to mix methanol with water, and by that to comply with Tier III regulations.
Once again, we have experienced a significant interest and demand for our solutions to the maritime industry, as the global response to the effects of pollution and global warming is to adopt even stricter rules for emissions. We have especially experienced an increased interest for our Fuel Valve Train for liquefied petroleum gas (FVT LPG) and for our Fuel Valve Train for methanol – both when it comes to new builds as well as for retrofitting projects.
Additionally, we are very pleased that our existing products which are already in operation have achieved quite an impressive milestone. More than 63 ships are now in service using our Gas- and Fuel Valve Trains to ensure safe and stable operations. Together they have reached more than 750.000 running hours on dual fuel! We are very happy and proud to be contributing to this positive development for a lower carbon footprint with our products.
With the many new products in operations in 2020, it has furthermore been essential to focus on how to support our customers even more efficient and and to make our response even faster. Hence, we have established an office in China with an associated Technical Account Manager as well as strengthened our presence in South Korea with an additional trained and skilled Service Engineer. These initiatives make it possible to respond to urgent requests as well as being present with our customers in Asia despite of the global pandemic.
Along with our strengthened presence in Asia, we have also expanded our production area at our Headquarter, enabling us to produce our products in larger quantities and scale to meet the increasing demand.
In August, we started a collaboration with the Danish Commercial Transition Agency, Sunrise, with the goal to strengthen our brand even further and to be able to bring our messages across in a more clear and effective way.
In December, we were proud to present the outcome of this collaboration: our new visual identity with new logo and tagline, a recognizable graphic element as well as our brand-new website. It has been an exciting process to be part of, where we have come to know our business and our goals even better and we are very happy with the result.
For 2021, we are looking into yet another exciting year with main focus on the development of new products, which supports the green transformation and enables fossil-free shipping in the future.
We also hope that 2021 will bring us closer to more normal circumstances., where we once again will be able to travel safe and visit our valued business partners.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind cooperation, your support and for making our progress possible in 2020 despite of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to a continued, prosperous collaboration in 2021!
Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year.
Please note that we are off on Christmas Holiday from December 24th to January 3rd, both days included. Last day for sending spare parts before the Christmas Holiday is December 18th 2020.