June 24, 2004
RT-flex a hit in China
Wartsila Corporation reports that many of the new Sulzer RT-flex common-rail marine engines are being installed in ships built in the People's Republic of China, and manufacture of these engines has already begun there under license.
Of the 110 Sulzer RT-flex common rail marine engines confirmed to be on order and in service world-wide, 36 are for ships built in China. These comprise seven Sulzer RT-flex84T-D engines for VLCCs, 12 Sulzer RT-flex60C engines for containerships and multi-purpose cargo carriers, 12 Sulzer RT-flex58T-B engines for product tankers and five Sulzer RT-flex50 engines for bulk carriers.
The first Chinese-built ship powered by a Sulzer RT-flex engine entered service in November 2003 in the 30,000 tdw multi-purpose container carrier "Wladyslaw Orkan" which was built at Shanghai Shipyard. The Sulzer 7RT-flex60C engines for this vessel and her three sister vessels were manufactured in Korea.
The first Chinese-built Sulzer RT-flex engine successfully completed its official shop test in May at Yichang Marine Diesel Engine Plant in Yichang. It is a five-cylinder Sulzer RTA58T-B. It will be installed in the first of two 46,500 tdw product tankers contracted at Jiangdu Yuehai Shipbuilding Co Ltd in China by International Andromeda Shipping SAM of Monaco. Each Sulzer 5RT-flex58T-B main engine has a power output of 10,625 kW at 105 rpm.
This engine was thoroughly tested over a period of several days culminating in the official shop test, with the test program covering all aspects of the engine's performance and operation. Throughout the engine ran most satisfactorily, reports Wartsila. No difficulties were experienced during any of the tests.
The most recent RT-flex engine order in China is for a Sulzer 6RT-flex50 engine to be installed in a 19,625 tdw geared bulk carrier being built at Shanghai Edwards Shipbuilding Co Ltd. The ship, being built to Finnish ice class 1A Super, has been contracted by the Swedish owner Rederi AB Donsotank with Finland's ESL Shipping Oy being part owner. The 9,720 kW main engine will be manufactured in Japan by Diesel United Ltd. The Sulzer RT-flex engine was chosen for its smokeless operation--important in the Baltic where the ship will trade--and for its operational flexibility which is foreseen to offer economic benefits.
In addition to the Sulzer 6RT-flex50 main engine, Wartsila will also deliver for this ship a Lips CP propeller, a PTO tunnel gear with shaft alternator, the control system for the whole plant, and three Wartsila 4L20 diesel generating sets.
Developed by Wartsila Corporation, Sulzer RT-flex engines are the first low-speed diesel engines to have electronically-controlled common-rail systems for fuel injection and valve actuation. This gives great flexibility in the way the engines operate, to deliver benefits such as smokeless operation at all operating speeds, lower fuel consumption, reduced maintenance costs and lower steady operating speeds for better maneuvering.