MAN Energy Solutions plans to offer ammonia-based engines by 2027, marking a significant stride towards decarbonizing the shipping industry.

Shippers transport approximately 90% of global trade, yet also contribute nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. By shifting towards cleaner fuel options, the industry could significantly slow global warming trends.

The selected alternative is ammonia. Whilst it does not contain carbon, it is toxic, requiring careful handling and stringent safety measures.

CEO Uwe Lauber revealed the first ammonia engine, destined for a vessel in Japan, would be delivered later this year. However, expect a considerable wait before the engines are made available for broader use. He estimates the ammonia-fuelled ship will undergo testing for 1-2 years, and stressed the need to further develop infrastructure and safety standards. The company foresees actual sales to clients beginning in 2027.

Another hurdle faced is developing the production of ‘green ammonia’. This eco-friendly fuel is produced via renewable fuels and water electrolysis, creating a cleaner energy source. However, Lauber cautioned large-scale production is unlikely before 2030.

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