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April 6, 2004

Sulzer RT-flex orders reach 100 mark

Confirmed orders for Sulzer RT-flex common-rail marine engines have now reached 100 engines since year 2000.

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 unrivaled 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 manoeuvring.

"It is remarkable how quickly the order book has built up to a 100 engines", commented Mikael Makinen, Group Vice President of Wartsilä Ship Power business. "It demonstrates the tremendous interest of shipowners in our RT-flex engines. They clearly see the benefits of common-rail technology. We are now building on its flexibility to develop further benefits for ship operators."

Sulzer RT-flex engines are now available in six cylinder sizes. The most popular is the largest, the RT-flex96C type, of which 59 engines have been ordered with seven, eight, ten and 12 cylinders for large, fast container vessels.

In addition, there have also been confirmed orders for three 7RT-flex84T-D engines for VLCCs, two 6RT-flex68T-B engines for Aframax tankers, 17 engines of the RT-flex60C type and 15 of the RT-flex58T-B type for various ship types, and four 6RT-flex50 engines for Handymax bulk carriers.

The 100 RT-flex engines which are now in service or on order have a combined power output of 4.16 million kW (5.66 million bhp).

Several 12RT-flex96C engines ordered by Odense Steel Shipyard A/S in Lindo, Denmark, will be installed in large container liners contracted by A.P. Moller-Maersk for delivery in 2005 onwards. The ships will be a lengthened version of the yard's present series of S-class vessels powered by Sulzer 12RTA96C engines of which the latest delivery is the 6,600 TEU "Adrian Maersk".

The 12RT-flex96C engines will each develop a maximum continuous output of 68,640 kW at 102 rev/min. They will be built under licence from Wärtsilä Corporation by HSD Engine Co Ltd in Korea.

These engines follow on from four Sulzer eight-cylinder RT-flex96C engines ordered in 2003 for Odense Steel Shipyard's L-class container vessels. The first of these engines began running on the test bed on 24 March 2004.

An increasing number of these engines are coming into service. The first series-built RT-flex production engine in service is the Sulzer 6RT-flex58T-B in the bulk carrier "Gypsum Centennial" which began operation in September 2001 and now has more than 14,000 running hours. Five further ships with RT-flex engines have since entered service, all with very satisfactory experience.

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