The first Sulzer low-speed engine with common-rail fuel injection has successfully completed one-year's service. This Sulzer 6RT-flex58T-B engine, of 11,275 kW output, is installed in the 47,950 dwt bulk carrier "Gypsum Centennial". It was recently inspected at Tampa, Fla., during the ship's guarantee drydocking after 5295 hour's operation.
During this first year
of operation, the engine ran successfully. Although the engine has not been without its problems, they were all 'teething' problems and have all been overcome. There has not been any problems with the concept and the very few major faults were largely mechanical with easily-defined solutions.
This is the world's first large low-speed engine in service with electronically-controlled common-rail systems for fuel injection and exhaust valve actuation. It must be remembered that the engine was built to operate only using the RT-flex common-rail system with no alternative. It went to sea as a fully industrialised product fully capable of continuous heavy-duty commercial operation. It achieved this performance with very good success.
The "Gypsum Centennial" was built for her owners Gypsum Transportation Ltd (GTL) of Bermuda by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
in Ulsan, Korea. Sea trials were completed in September and she entered service in mid November 2001.
An additional nine Sulzer RT-flex engines have since been ordered. These include another 6RT-flex58T-B engine, six 7RT-flex60C engines and two 5RT-flex58T-B engines.