Wärtsilä Corporation reports a market success for the Sulzer RT-flex common-rail marine engines. Confirmed orders for RT-flex engines now amount to 45 engines having a combined power of 1.86 million kW (2.53 million bhp).
The major contribution to this success comes from the containership sector. Of the total number of RT-flex engines ordered, 29 are of the Sulzer RT-flex96C type for large container liners. These comprise twelve 12-cylinder engines, three ten-cylinder engines, ten eight-cylinder engines and four seven-cylinder engines, and will be built under licence in Korea and Japan.
The release early this year of the RT-flex version of the Sulzer RTA96C engine, with power outputs up to 80,080 kW in the 14-cylinder model, came at an opportune time, just before the recent surge in containership newbuilding orders.
The other RT-flex engines, delivered and on order, comprise nine RT-flex60C engines and seven RT-flex58T-B engines.
The Sulzer RT-flex engines are the latest development of Sulzer RTA low-speed marine engines by Wärtsilä Corporation. They are the only large marine engines to incorporate common-rail fuel injection and valve operation with fully-integrated electronic control. This is a major step in the development of large marine diesel engines. It offers unrivalled flexibility of operation 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.
Service experience with Sulzer RT-flex engines is building up. The first engine, a Sulzer 6RT-flex58T-B in the bulk carrier “Gypsum Centennial”, has successfully passed the landmark of 10,000 running hours. She entered service in September 2001.
The second, third and fourth ships powered by RT-flex engines were recently completed. The second is the Aframax tanker “Sea Lady” of Scinicariello Augustea Ship Management SpA built at Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd in Japan. Also powered by a 6RT-flex58T-B, she entered service at the end of August 2003.
The third vessel is the Agrexco reefer “Carmel Ecofresh” built at Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo in Portugal. She is equipped with a Sulzer 7RT-flex60C engine and completed her sea trials in mid September 2003.
Another 7RT-flex60C engine powers the multi-purpose carrier “Wladyslaw Orkan” of Chipolbrok which completed sea trials at the end of September. She was built by Shanghai Shipyard in China.