Marine Diesel Propulsion: Where Less Is More

Friday, July 14, 2000
Alstom Diesel engines and its three well-regarded brands — Mirrlees Blackstone, Paxman and Ruston — were recently bought by MAN B&W.

Several recent deals have confirmed the continuing trend towards a consolidation of resources in the realm of marine propulsion equipment. The trend, to regular followers of the industry, is hardly a new development. However, a spate of recent new deals and consummations has brought the topic to the forefront again.

As reported in the June 2000 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, the emergence of Rolls Royce as a major force in the field of marine propusion is solidified with a collection of brand name equipment suppliers. The U.K. based organization has a true global reach, and is a threatening force to dominate any market, which it chooses to enter. Mid last month, also saw big announcements from two of the world's premier diesel engine manufacturers, MAN B&W and Wärtsilä NSD. MAN B&W Diesel AG of Augsburg, Germany formally completed the acquisition of ALSTOM's Diesel engine business, which was immediately renamed MAN B&W Diesel Ltd with its headquarters in Stockport, Cheshire.

"We welcome the new British members of the MAN B&W Diesel team to the MAN family," said Dr. Hans-J. Schulte, president of MAN B&W Diesel. "We will strengthen their technical and brand identities, thus bringing a wider range of products into a wider range of markets and placing more resources at the disposal and to the benefit of our customers."

The U.K. company manufactures diesel engines under the long established Mirrlees Blackstone, Ruston and Paxman brand names, which will continue to be strongly promoted. The existing engine programs under these brand names will also continue and will be complementary to the extensive range of engines in the power bracket between 500 and 68,640 kW being designed and produced by the MAN B&W Diesel Group at its other locations in Europe. Mirrlees Blackstone 500 - 600 rpm medium-speed engines find application in the base load power generation in markets up to 15 MW per unit. Ruston 750 - 1,000 rpm medium-speed engines up to 9 MW are widely used in power generation, marine propulsion and rail traction applications and it is the leading brand in engines for large high-speed ferries. Paxman high-speed engines are well known in applications demanding high power density engines up to 4 MW including power generation, high-speed marine and high-speed rail traction applications. The U.K. company also manufactures Diesel engine governors and control systems through its Regulateurs Europa subsidiary and has a high quality iron foundry in Stamford. MAN B&W Diesel AG is a market leader in marine propulsion engines for commercial shipping. The MAN B&W Diesel Group employs some 6,000 people world-wide and has an annual business volume of $1.1 billion. The acquisition will bring an additional workforce of approximately 1,500 and annual sales of some $200 million. Wärtsilä NSD also made headlines when it announced that it and the TI Group, on behalf of John Crane-Lips, signed of a co-operation agreement to develop, market and supply total marine propulsion power systems to the shipbuilding industry. Agreement has also been reached for TI Group to purchase Wärtsilä NSD's propeller production and related servicing business at Rubbestadneset, Norway, with approximately 120 employees transferring from Wärtsilä NSD Norway to John Crane-Lips.

"This agreement is an important milestone for Wärtsilä NSD in developing our position as The Ship Power Supplier," said Ole Johansson, president and CEO of Wärtsilä NSD. "The requirement for integrated solutions is increasing within the industry and Wärtsilä NSD is well placed to respond to that need." Wärtsilä NSD has a substantial share of the marine engine market and John Crane-Lips has a leading position in the market for integrated propulsion systems, including propellers, waterjets, thrusters, shaft seals and bearings. Under the brand name, Wärtsilä-Lips, customers will be offered total marine propulsion power systems from a single source, integrating all aspects of propulsion and maneuvering systems from the engine, through the gear box to the ship's propellers and controls.

The global commercial shipbuilding market is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. In the face of competitive pressures, environmental regulations and greater complexity in ship design, shipowners and shipbuilders are now seeking to outsource substantial elements of ship construction, including marine propulsion power systems, to suppliers. Under the co-operation agreement, Wärtsilä NSD, with 560 marine support people worldwide, will act as prime contractor to shipyards for total marine propulsion power systems. It will provide diesel engine based prime movers and gearboxes while John Crane-Lips will supply on-board propulsion and sealing systems. Using innovative and advanced technology, the co-operation agreement addresses the entire commercial marine market, from fishing vessels and tug boats to cruise ships and VLCC's, as well as defense markets, and should provide significant growth opportunities for both companies. Both Wärtsilä NSD and John Crane-Lips retain the right to market their own product ranges independently. Wärtsilä NSD Helps Powers Greek Ferry Revolution

In the past two years, Wärtsilä NSD has sold medium-speed diesel engines to the value of more than $220 million for ferries, RoRo vessels, cruise ships and other vessels contracted by Greek owners. These involve a total of 103 main diesel engines having an aggregate power of 1.13 million kW.

Most of these newbuildings are ferries for upgrading domestic services to the Greek islands and for providing greater capacities on the Adriatic services. A recent order is for the engines to be installed in the pair of 30,000 grt ferries contracted by Attica Enterprises at the German shipyard Flender Werft. Due for delivery early in 2002, these ferries will each be powered by four Wärtsilä 12V46C engines of 48,000 kW output for a service speed of 28.5 knots. Maxim: Keeping It Quiet

As a pioneer in the field of engine exhaust silencing and with more than 100 years of experience, MAXIM products, manufactured by Beaird Industries in Shreveport, La., has earned its place in the silencer industry. A complete line of silencers is available for noise control of both dry or wet engine exhausts, high pressure gas vents, compressor and blower silencers, ASME Code designs for pressure service, waste heat recovery, and catalytic units. Many stock and standard design silencer models are available but one of MAXIM's strong points is its ability to custom design a silencer to meet a specific design requirement. ALSTOM Supplies Propulsion Systems For New Cruise Ships

ALSTOM Power Conversion has been selected by Princess Cruises and Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. to supply electric propulsion systems for two Grand Class cruise ships. Each ship will be equipped with two ALSTOM's electric motors each with a rated power of 20,000 kW/145 rpm. ALSTOM is also to supply the main and auxiliary generators, the 11 kV main switchboard, the induction motors for thrusters and compressors and all the Synchrodrive and control units dedicated to the electric propulsion.

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