Eight 1574 TEU container ships contracted by the German owner Peter Döhle Schiffahrtsgesellschaft at the Jiangsu Yangzijiang shipyard in the People’s Republic of China are to be propelled by Sulzer RT-flex common-rail engines.
Each ship will be equipped with a single 7-cylinder Sulzer RT-flex60C low-speed engine with a maximum continuous power output of 16,520 kW (22,470 bhp) at 114 rpm. The engines will be built under licence from Wärtsilä Corporation by Hudong Heavy Machinery Co Ltd in Shanghai.
The ships, due for delivery in 2005 and 2006, will be employed on the North Atlantic trades. The key reason for choosing Sulzer RT-flex engines for these ships is the engines’ capability for running at lower, steady speeds than traditional camshaft-controlled engines. This will allow better control of the ship while manoeuvring and during the long port approaches and river passages experienced on the trades for which the ships are intended.
Very low-speed running is just one of the benefits of the Sulzer RT-flex engines developed by Wärtsilä Corporation. They 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 and reduced maintenance costs, as well as lower steady operating speeds already mentioned.
These will be the first Sulzer RT-flex engines from Hudong, which joins five other licensed engine builders in Japan, Korea and China, as well as Wärtsilä’s own factory in Trieste, Italy, in building these advanced marine prime movers.
The first series-built RT-flex production engine has already accumulated more than 12,000 running hours since it entered service in the bulk carrier “Gypsum Centennial” in September 2001. Three further ships with Sulzer RT-flex engines have entered service in 2003. Overall, the grand total of RT-flex engines delivered and on order is 61 with an aggregate power of 2.26 million kW (3.08 million bhp).