Sulzer RT-flex96C low-speed diesel engines have been ordered by Odense Steel Shipyard A/S in Lindø, Denmark, for installation in four 3700 TEU L-class container ships building there for the Danish group A.P. Møller – Mærsk, Safmarine and Deutsche Afrika Linien. The ships are due for delivery in 2004 and 2005.
These are further examples of the most powerful diesel engines so far announced to have electronically-controlled common-rail fuel injection. The first Sulzer RT-flex96C engines were ordered in April 2003.
The eight-cylinder engines will each develop 45,760 kW (62,240 bhp) at 102 rev/min. The engines will be built under licence from Wärtsilä Corporation by HSD Engine Co Ltd in Korea.
Developed by Wärtsilä Corporation, Sulzer RT-flex engines are the first low-speed engines to have electronically-controlled common-rail systems for fuel injection and valve actuation. This gives unrivalled 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.
This is the second series of Sulzer RT-flex engines contracted by A.P. Møller - Mærsk group companies. Three nine-cylinder Sulzer RT-flex60C engines were previously ordered also by Safmarine for 2100 TEU ships contracted at the German shipbuilder Volkswerft Stralsund GmbH.
Sulzer RT-flex engines are attracting increasing interest from shipowners. The first series-built RT-flex production engine in service is the six-cylinder Sulzer RT-flex58T-B in the bulk carrier “Gypsum Centennial” which began operation in September 2001 and now has more than 11,000 running hours. Three further ships with RT-flex engines have entered service in 2003.
The largest RT-flex engines have proved to be most popular, with 29 RT-flex96C engines currently on order, in seven-, eight-, ten- and 12-cylinder configurations. In addition, there are 15 Sulzer RT-flex60C engines and nine Sulzer RT-flex58T-B engines, bringing the grand total of RT-flex engines as confirmed orders or already delivered to 53 with a aggregate power of 2.0 million kW (2.7 million bhp).