Exmar Orders Ammonia-Powered Midsize Gas Carriers

Belgian shipowner Exmar will be the first global shipowner to take delivery of an ammonia-powered vessel in the first half of 2026. Ammonia has recently received a lot of attention as the ultimate alternative fuel for shipping. In its recently updated Net Zero by 2050 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that the shipping industry will turn primarily to ammonia for decarbonization.

Earlier this year, Exmar LPG BV, a joint venture between Exmar and Seapeak, signed a contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for the construction of two 46,000 cbm liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)/ammonia carriers. The vessels, measuring 190 meters in length, 30.4 meters in width, and 18.8 meters in height, will be built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan and delivered sequentially to Exmar by May 2026.

The new vessels can operate on either ammonia or LPG fuel, and the fuel supply system will be supplied by Wärtsilä Gas Solutions. WinGD will supply ammonia-fueled engines for the two newbuildings, with the X52DF-A engine to be delivered in the second quarter of 2025 and one of the first WinGD ammonia-fueled engines to be put into operation. Recently, Lloyd’s Register (LR) has issued an Approval-in-Principle (AiP) for WinGD’s ammonia-fueled engine range, which means that shipowners will be able to incorporate the X-DF-A engines into their newbuilding programs.

It is understood that the X-DF-A engine family will be high-pressure ammonia injected, using about 5% energy ignition oil. In both ammonia and diesel modes, the same power and speed range as the existing diesel engine will be available. The use of the proven Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) reaction will ensure that Tier III NOx compliance of exhaust gases will be achieved in any fuel, while eliminating the need for after-treatment of N2O emissions.

WinGD Director of Sales, Volkmar Galke said: “Ammonia is set to become a mainstream sustainable marine fuel and energy carrier by mid-century, and we are delighted to be working with EXMAR to ensure that the vessels carrying the cargo will be among the first to use it. Thanks to close cooperation with the owner, shipyard, engine builder Hyundai Heavy Industries and other stake holders, WinGD’s X52DF-A will be available soon – not just for ammonia carriers but also for a range of other vessel types that can benefit from ammonia as a fuel.”

Currently, Exmar’s shipping division has 17 medium-sized gas carriers, 3 very large gas carriers and 10 refueling vessels.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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