MAN Diesel Engines to Power World’s Largest Vessel

Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Offshore Division of MAN Diesel received the order for the supply of generator sets with a combined output of almost 95 MW for what will be, dimensionally, the largest vessel in existence, and will include working functions which also set world records in their specialist field. The contract will also involve the first V-configuration engines to be produced in MAN Diesel’s new four-stroke medium-speed engine series, the 560 kW per cylinder 32/44 CR with commonrail fuel-injection technology.

This new mega-vessel has been ordered by the Swissbased Allseas Group S.A., an offshore installation contractor, and is a twin-hull construction with main dimensions 1181 ft. (360 m) long by 383.8 ft. (117 m) wide.

The new vessel is designed to fulfill a number of functions for clients in oil and gas exploration and production: platform installation, platform decommissioning, platform removal and pipe laying. To fulfill these functions the vessel will have topside lift capacity of 48,000 tons and stern portal cranes with a jacket lift capacity of 25,000 tons, plus the world’s largest pipelay tension capacity of 1,500 tons. Targeted for delivery in 2010, the vessel will be named Pieter Schelte, after the offshore, heavy lifting pioneer Pieter Schelte Heerema.

Altogether nine MAN Diesel 32/44CR engines with a total of 169 cylinders and a massive combined output of 94.6 MW will power the generator sets which will cover demand from Pieter Schelte’s varied consumers. These include the vessel’s diesel-electric propulsion and dynamic positioning system based on 12 thrusters with 360° azimuthing capability and giving the vessel a speed of 12 knots when fully laden; its powerful lifting gear, pipe laying and other working equipment; plus a range of other onboard consumers, including a considerable hotel load for the large crew of 450.

Of the nine generator sets aboard the Pieter Schelte, eight will be based on the 20-cylinder V-configuration 20V32/44 CR engine and one on the inline configuration, nine-cylinder 9L32/44CR. The engines are due for delivery in December 2009 to meet a schedule that calls for vessel completion in 2010.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Lausch, Senior Vice President and head of MAN Diesel’s medium-speed marine-propulsion business unit said “With a rated output of 560 kW/cyl., the 32/44 CR offers excellent ratios of power-to-weight and power-to-installation space. On the other hand, its common-rail injection system allows engine output, fuel consumption and emissions to be optimized across its complete load range, translating into reduced fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emissions at part-load.

This is especially important on a vessel like Pieter Schelte. Here, generator sets will operate under a sophisticated load-sharing system to cover demand from both the diesel-electric propulsion / positioning system, a wide range of other electrically powered working functions and further major consumers. With the wide variations in electrical load possible in such a set-up, at least one generator set will, logically, always be operating under part-load.” The vessel is to be built mainly in the Far East, possibly including the installation of specialist equipment, and is the latest in a series of record breakers from Allseas in the platform installation/decommissioning and pipelaying business.

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