Engine maker WinGD has signed a four-way agreement to underwrite the ammonia engines set to be installed on a series of 210,00 bulk carriers for Belgium owner CMB.TECH.

The Switzerland-based engine company has signed an agreement with the shipyard CSSC Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding, and the engine builder CSSC Engine Co, for the development of the WINGD 72 bore dual fuel ammonia engine. WINGD is also owned by CSSC.

These will be the first ammonia engines built in China said the company in a press statement, with delivery of the vessels due in 2025 and 2026.

“Having progressed the engine design and vessel integration concept rapidly with CMB.TECH over the past nine months, enlisting the mutual cooperation of the shipyard and engine builder is a critical next step,” said WINGD chief executive Dominic Schneiter. “As well as safeguarding the successful entry into operation of these innovative engines, this collaboration will also accelerate the spread of ammonia capabilities across key stakeholder groups, placing the whole industry on surer footing as it explores a vital decarbonisation pathway.”

WIN-GD is developing a high-pressure dual-fuel engine that requires a pilot fuel when burning ammonia. The company says no after-treatment is needed to counter possible emissions of N20, often called laughing gas and which is a significant greenhouse gas. However, after treatment is needed to tackle NOx emissions for the engines to be compliant under international regulations.